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Long-term warming effects on root morphology, root mass distribution, and microbial activity in two dry tundra plant communities in northern Sweden
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Göteborg University, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Göteborg University, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Göteborg University, Gothenburg, Sweden.
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2007 (English)In: New Phytologist, ISSN 0028-646X, E-ISSN 1469-8137, Vol. 176, no 4, 862-873 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

• Effects of warming on root morphology, root mass distribution and microbialactivity were studied in organic and mineral soil layers in two alpine ecosystems over > 10 yr, using open-top chambers, in Swedish Lapland.

• Root mass was estimated using soil cores. Washed roots were scanned and sortedinto four diameter classes, for which variables including root mass (g dry matter(g DM) m –2 ), root length density (RLD; cm cm –3 soil), specific root length (SRL; m gDM –1 ), specific root area (SRA; m 2 kg DM –1 ), and number of root tips m –2 weredetermined. Nitrification (NEA) and denitrification enzyme activity (DEA) in the top10 cm of soil were measured.

• Soil warming shifted the rooting zone towards the upper soil organic layer in bothplant communities. In the dry heath, warming increased SRL and SRA of the finestroots in both soil layers, whereas the dry meadow was unaffected. Neither NEA norDEA exhibited differences attributable to warming.

• Tundra plants may respond to climate change by altering their root morphologyand mass while microbial activity may be unaffected. This suggests that carbon maybe incorporated in tundra soils partly as a result of increases in the mass of the finerroots if temperatures rise.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 176, no 4, 862-873 p.
Keyword [en]
Arctic, climate change, nitrogen, root biomass, root length density, soil layers, specific root area, specific root length
National Category
Ecology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:polar:diva-3748DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2007.02231.xISI: 000250819700017OAI: oai:DiVA.org:polar-3748DiVA: diva2:1131445
Available from: 2008-06-21 Created: 2017-08-14

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