Research Highlights: Understanding of the spatial variation of root exudation on a regional scale can help understand the response of plant physiological activities to environmental changes. Background and Objectives: Although root exudation has become an important topic in belowground ecology, its relationship with root traits and environmental factors is poorly understood. Our objective was to explore how root traits and environmental factors influence root exudation. Materials and Methods: We used a multi-factorial design consisting of three tree species spanning across sites located at three latitudes to assess root exudation dynamics, which was measured using a syringe-basis incubation system. Results: The strongest and clearest effect observed in our study was a decrease in root exudation rates of Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis
Sieb. et Zucc.) and larch (Larix gmelinii
(Rupr.) Kuze.) at sites located in higher latitudes. Root exudation rates were positively related to mean annual temperature, mean annual precipitation, and negatively related to soil total organic carbon. Conclusions: Root exudation in coniferous species decreased at sites located in higher latitudes. Despite differences in root exudation rate among sites located at different latitudes and species with suitable variation in root morphological traits and environmental factors, we could not identify consistent influencing factors on root exudation rates.
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