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Forests 2017, 8(7), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8070249

Fine Root Dynamics in Afromontane Forest and Adjacent Land Uses in the Northwest Ethiopian Highlands

Institute of Forest Ecology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Peter-Jordan-Straße 82, 1190 Vienna, Austria
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Academic Editor: Isabella Børja
Received: 2 June 2017 / Revised: 6 July 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 13 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Fine Roots in Changing Climate)
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Abstract

Fine roots are a major pathway of C input into soils. The aim of this study was to quantify fine root stocks, production and turnover in natural forest and land use systems converted from forests in Ethiopia. The study was conducted in a remnant Afromontane forest, eucalyptus plantation and grass and cropland in NW Ethiopia. Fine root dynamics were investigated using three different methods: sequential coring, in-growth cores and in-growth nets. Soil cores for sequential analyses were taken in quarterly intervals, while in-growth cores and nets were harvested corresponding to 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, 8- and 12-month interval. Fine root stocks averaged 564, 425, 56 and 46 g·m−2 in the forest, eucalyptus, grazing land and cropland ecosystems, respectively. The values decreased exponentially with increasing soil depth. In forest and eucalyptus, fine root biomass and necromass were highest in the dry season. Estimates of fine root production differed according to the method used. Fine root production based on in-growth coring averaged 468, 293, 70 and 52 g m−2·year−1. In general, land use conversion from forest to open lands reduced fine root production by 85–91%. The turnover rate of fine roots was 1.5 for forest and 2.1 for eucalyptus plantation. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomass; necromass; fine root stock; root production; sequential coring; in-growth core; turnover rate; carbon efflux; decision matrix biomass; necromass; fine root stock; root production; sequential coring; in-growth core; turnover rate; carbon efflux; decision matrix
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Assefa, D.; Rewald, B.; Sandén, H.; Godbold, D.L. Fine Root Dynamics in Afromontane Forest and Adjacent Land Uses in the Northwest Ethiopian Highlands. Forests 2017, 8, 249.

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