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Specific root length as an indicator of environmental change
Institute of Geography, University of Tartu, Estonia.
Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden; Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia.
RTA, Departament d’Horticultura Ambiental, Carretera de Cabrils, Spain.
Department of Soil Quality, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.
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2007 (English)In: Plant Biosystems, ISSN 1126-3504, E-ISSN 1724-5575, Vol. 141, no 3, p. 426-442Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Specific root length (SRL, m g(-1)) is probably the most frequently measured morphological parameter of fine roots. It is believed to characterize economic aspects of the root system and to be indicative of environmental changes. The main objectives of this paper were to review and summarize the published SRL data for different tree species throughout Europe and to assess SRL under varying environmental conditions. Meta-analysis was used to summarize the response of SRL to the following manipulated environmental conditions: fertilization, irrigation, elevated temperature, elevated CO(2), Al-stress, reduced light, heavy metal stress and physical disturbance of soil. SRL was found to be strongly dependent on the fine root classes, i.e. on the ectomycorrhizal short roots (ECM), and on the roots < 0.5 mm, < 1 mm, < 2 mm and 1-2 mm in diameter SRL was largest for ECM and decreased with increasing diameter. Changes in soil factors influenced most strongly the SRL of ECM and roots < 0.5 mm. The variation in the SRL components, root diameter and root tissue density, and their impact on the SRL value were computed. Meta-analyses showed that SRL decreased significantly under fertilization and Al-stress; it responded negatively to reduced light, elevated temperature and CO(2). We suggest that SRL can be used successfully as an indicator of nutrient availability to trees in experimental conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 141, no 3, p. 426-442
Keyword [en]
Environmental conditions, fertilization, fine root morphology, indicator, specific root length, stress
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-2101DOI: 10.1080/11263500701626069ISI: 000252341900015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-2101DiVA, id: diva2:118763
Available from: 2008-06-21 Created: 2008-06-21 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Majdi, Hooshang

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