Publication Details

The Role of Fine Root Dynamics in the N and P Cycles of Regenerating Upland Oak-Hickory Forests

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Idol, Travis W.; Pope, Phillip E.; Tucker, Jennifer; Ponder, Felix, Jr.

Year Published

1998

Publication

In: Waldrop, Thomas A., ed. Proceedings, 9th Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-20. Asheville, NC: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station: 136-140

Abstract

ln naturally regenerating hardwood forest stands, inputs of organic matter and nutrients from fine root turnover and decomposition are significant but not well-quantified. Four forest stands in southern Indiana-aged 6, 12, 31, and approximately 100 years since clearcutting at the time of the study-were chosen to represent the different developmental stages of upland temperate hardwood forest stands. Changes in live and dead fine root biomass and fine root growth were monitored to calculate total fine root decomposition. Autumnal aboveground litterfall was collected to compare above- and belowground litter nutrient inputs. Results indicate that, on an annual basis, N and P inputs to the soil from fine root decomposition are greater than or equal to, the total amount of N and P held in the aboveground litterfall for all but the youngest stand. The ratio of aboveground fine root N and P inputs decreases with stand age beginning about 10 years after harvest. This indicates that fine root turnover and decomposition in these upland oak-hickory forests is the major pathway for biological cycling of nutrients from stand ages 10 to 80 years.

Citation

Idol, Travis W.; Pope, Phillip E.; Tucker, Jennifer; Ponder, Felix, Jr. 1998. The Role of Fine Root Dynamics in the N and P Cycles of Regenerating Upland Oak-Hickory Forests. In: Waldrop, Thomas A., ed. Proceedings, 9th Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference; Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-20. Asheville, NC: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station: 136-140

Last updated on: March 22, 2007