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Adaptive root foraging strategies along a boreal-temperate forest gradient

Ostonen, I., Truu, M., Helmisaari, H.-S., Lukac, M., Borken, W., Vanguelova, E., Godbold, D. L., Lõhmus, K., Zang, U., Tedersoo, L., Preem, J.-K., Rosenvald, K., Aosaar, J., Armolaitis, K., Frey, J., Kabral, N., Kukumägi, M., Leppälammi-Kujansuu, J., Lindroos, A.-J., Merilä, P. , Napa, Ü., Nöjd, P., Parts, K., Uri, V., Varik, M. and Truu, J. (2017) Adaptive root foraging strategies along a boreal-temperate forest gradient. New Phytologist, 215 (3). pp. 977-991. ISSN 1469-8137

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/nph.14643

Abstract/Summary

The tree root–mycorhizosphere plays a key role in resource uptake, but also in the adaptation of forests to changing environments. The adaptive foraging mechanisms of ectomycorrhizal (EcM) and fine roots of Picea abies, Pinus sylvestris and Betula pendula were evaluated along a gradient from temperate to subarctic boreal forest (38 sites between latitudes 48°N and 69°N) in Europe. Variables describing tree resource uptake structures and processes (absorptive fine root biomass and morphology, nitrogen (N) concentration in absorptive roots, extramatrical mycelium (EMM) biomass, community structure of root-associated EcM fungi, soil and rhizosphere bacteria) were used to analyse relationships between root system functional traits and climate, soil and stand characteristics. Absorptive fine root biomass per stand basal area increased significantly from temperate to boreal forests, coinciding with longer and thinner root tips with higher tissue density, smaller EMM biomass per root length and a shift in soil microbial community structure. The soil carbon (C) : N ratio was found to explain most of the variability in absorptive fine root and EMM biomass, root tissue density, N concentration and rhizosphere bacterial community structure. We suggest a concept of absorptive fine root foraging strategies involving both qualitative and quantitative changes in the root–mycorrhiza–bacteria continuum along climate and soil C : N gradients.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:70764
Uncontrolled Keywords:Medicine(all)
Publisher:Wiley

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