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How deep must we dig? Sampling depth effects on root biomass assessment in mediterranean riparian buffers



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Delgado Sáez, Juan Antonio and González-Garrido, Laura and Martínez Martínez, Teodora (2012) How deep must we dig? Sampling depth effects on root biomass assessment in mediterranean riparian buffers. Plant Biosystems, 146 (2). pp. 413-418. ISSN 1724-5575

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Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/11263504.2011.651506


Root turnover is a relevant process controlling carbon and nutrient cycles. Furthermore, root biomass could influence the effectiveness of riparian buffer systems with regard to immobilizing and processing soil water pollutants and improving soil quality. However, sampling root biomass presents many technical problems, because there is as yet no well-established method for assessment thereof. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of limited sampling depth on biomass assessment in four riparian buffers and on two different dates (January and June): a poplar forest, two mixed deciduous afforestations of different ages, and a grassy area. Although, for all systems, most root biomass was limited to the first 30 cm, detection of differences in root biomass among vegetation types depended strongly on sampling depth for both sampling dates. Furthermore, although the poplar forest presented one of the most stable root systems in terms of total biomass between the sampling dates, it was one of the most seasonally dynamic in terms of the amount and distribution with depth of root biomass. The results of this study suggest that a minimum sampling depth should be established for each study according to seasonal variation in vertical distribution of root biomass.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Afforestation, belowground biomass, poplar, streamsides, soil cores
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology > Ecology
ID Code:55968
Deposited On:24 Jun 2019 17:03
Last Modified:24 Jun 2019 17:03

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