Dynamics of fine roots in five Chinese temperate forests

Xiankuai Quan, Chuankuan Wang, Quanzhi Zhang, Xingchang Wang, Yiqi Luo, Ben Bond-Lamberty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


We used a minirhizotron method to investigate spatial and temporal dynamics of fine roots (diameter ≤2 mm) in five Chinese temperate forests: Mongolian oak forest, aspen-birch forest, hardwood forest, Korean pine plantation and Dahurian larch plantation. Fine root dynamics were significantly influenced by forest type, soil layer, and sampling time. The grand mean values varied from 1.99 to 3.21 mm cm-2 (root length per minirhizotron viewing area) for the fine root standing crop; from 6.7 to 11.6 μm cm-2 day-1 for the production; and from 3.2 to 6.1 μm cm-2 day-1 for the mortality. All forests had a similar seasonal "sinusoidal" pattern of standing crop, and a "unimodal" pattern of production. However, the seasonal dynamics of the mortality were largely unsynchronized with those of the production. The minimum values of standing crop, production and mortality occurred in March for all forests, whereas the maximum values and occurrence time differed among forest types. The standing crop, production and mortality tended to decrease with soil depth. The different spatiotemporal patterns of fine roots among the forests highlight the need for forest-specific measurements and modeling of fine root dynamics and forest carbon allocation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-507
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Plant Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Minirhizotron
  • Root biomass
  • Root mortality
  • Root production
  • Seasonality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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