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Assefa, D; Godbold, DL; Belay, B; Abiyu, A; Rewald, B.
(2018): Fine Root Morphology, Biochemistry and Litter Quality Indices of Fast- and Slow-growing Woody Species in Ethiopian Highland Forest
ECOSYSTEMS. 2018; 21(3): 482-494. FullText FullText_BOKU

Fine root turnover of trees is a major C input to soil. However, the quality of litter input is influenced by root morphological traits and tissue chemical composition. In this study, fine roots of ten tropical woody species were collected from an Afromontane forest in the northern highlands of Ethiopia. The fine roots were analysed for root morphological traits and tissue chemistry measured as proxy carbon fractionations. Based on stem increment, the 10 species were divided into faster- and slower-growing species. Faster-growing species exhibited higher specific root length (1362 cm g(-1)) than slower-growing species (923 cm g(-1)). Similarly specific root area was higher in faster-growing species (223 cm(2) g(-1)) than in slower-growing species (167 cm(2) g(-1)). Among the carbon fractions, the acid-insoluble fraction (AIF) was the highest (44-51%). The carbon content, AIF, and the lignocellulose index were higher for slower-growing species. Root tissue density was lower in faster-growing species (0.33 g cm(-3)) than slower-growing species (0.40 g cm(-3)) and showed a strong positive correlation with carbon content (r (2) = 0.84) and the AIF (r (pearson) = 0.93). The morphological traits of fine roots between faster- and slower-growing species reflect the ecological strategy they employ. Slower-growing species have a higher tissue density which may reflect a greater longevity.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Belete Dessie Assefa
Godbold Douglas L.
Rewald Boris

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
carbon fractions
root tissue density
specific root length
acid-insoluble fraction
carbon cost
root traits

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