Root density distribution and biomass allocation of co-occurring woody plants on contrasting soils in a subtropical savanna parkland
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Sch Nat Resources & Environm
Subtropical savanna parkland
Woody plant encroachment
MetadataShow full item record
CitationZhou, Y., Watts, S. E., Boutton, T. W., & Archer, S. R. (2019). Root density distribution and biomass allocation of co-occurring woody plants on contrasting soils in a subtropical savanna parkland. Plant and Soil, 438(1-2), 263-279.
JournalPLANT AND SOIL
Rights© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractBackground and aims: Root niche partitioning among trees/shrubs and grasses facilitates their coexistence in savannas, but little is known regarding root distribution patterns of co-occurring woody plants, and how they might differ on contrasting soils. Methods: We quantified root distributions of co-occurring shrubs to 2m on argillic and non-argillic soils. Results: Root biomass in the two shrub communities was 3- to 5- fold greater than that in the grassland community. Prosopis glandulosa, the dominant overstory species was deep-rooted, while the dominant understory shrub, Zanthoxylum fagara, was shallow-rooted (47% vs. 25% of root density at depths >0.4m). Shrubs on argillic soils had less aboveground and greater belowground mass than those on non-argillic soils. Root biomass and density on argillic soils was elevated at shallow (< 0.4m) depths, whereas root density of the same species on non-argillic soils were skewed to depths >0.4m. Root density decreased exponentially with increasing distance from woody patch perimeters. Conclusions: Belowground biomass (carbon) pools increased markedly with grassland-to-shrubland state change. The presence/absence of a restrictive barrier had substantial effects on root distributions and above- vs. belowground biomass allocation. Differences in root distribution patterns of co-occurring woody species would facilitate their co-existence.
Note12 month embargo; first online: 11 March 2019
VersionFinal accepted manuscript
SponsorsNSF [BSR-9109240]; NASA [NAGW-2662]; NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant [DEB/DDIG-1600790]; USDA/NIFA Hatch Project ; Sid Kyle Graduate Merit Assistantship from the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management; Tom Slick Graduate Research Fellowship from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas AM University; Office of Graduate and Professional Studies at Texas AM University