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Fine roots are a key component of carbon (C) flow and nitrogen (N) cycling in forest ecosystems. However, the complexity and heterogeneity of the fine root branching system have hampered the assessment and prediction of C and N dynamics at ecosystem scales. We examined how root morphology, biomass, and chemistry differed with root branch orders (1–5 with(More)
Leaf nitrogen and phosphorus stoichiometry of Chinese terrestrial plants was studied based on a national data set including 753 species across the country. Geometric means were calculated for functional groups based on life form, phylogeny and photosynthetic pathway, as well as for all 753 species. The relationships between leaf N and P stoichiometric(More)
* Different portions of tree root systems play distinct functional roles, yet precisely how to distinguish roots of different functions within the branching fine-root system is unclear. * Here, anatomy and mycorrhizal colonization was examined by branch order in 23 Chinese temperate tree species of both angiosperms and gymnosperms forming ectomycorrhizal(More)
Fine roots constitute a large and dynamic component of the carbon cycles of terrestrial ecosystems. The reported fivefold discrepancy in turnover estimates between median longevity (ML) from minirhizotrons and mean residence time (MRT) using carbon isotopes may have global consequences. Here, a root branch order-based model and a simulated factorial(More)
Nitrogen (N) and carbon–nitrogen (C:N) ratio are key foliar traits with great ecological importance, but their patterns across biomes have only recently been explored. We conducted a systematic census of foliar C, N and C:N ratio for 213 species, from 41 families over 199 research sites across the grassland biomes of China following the same protocol, to(More)
Fine roots acquire essential soil resources and mediate biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Estimates of carbon and nutrient allocation to build and maintain these structures remain uncertain because of the challenges of consistently measuring and interpreting fine-root systems. Traditionally, fine roots have been defined as all roots ≤ 2 mm(More)
We have limited understanding of architecture and morphology of fine root systems in large woody trees. This study investigated architecture, morphology, and biomass of different fine root branch orders of two temperate tree species from Northeastern China—Larix gmelinii Rupr and Fraxinus mandshurica Rupr —by sampling up to five fine root branch orders(More)
Historically, ephemeral roots have been equated with 'fine roots' (i.e. all roots of less than an arbitrary diameter, such as 2 mm), but evidence shows that 'fine roots' in woody species are complex branching systems with both rapid-cycling and slow-cycling components. A precise definition of ephemeral roots is therefore needed. Using a branch-order(More)
Subtropical broad-leaved forests in southeastern China support a high diversity of woody plants. Using a comparative study design with 303 30 m plots (n1⁄4 27) from five successional stages (,20, ,40, ,60, ,80, and 80 yr), we investigated how the gradient in species composition reflects underlying processes of community assembly. In particular, we tested(More)
Among tree fine roots, the distal small-diameter lateral branches comprising first- and second-order roots lack secondary (wood) development. Therefore, these roots are expected to decompose more rapidly than higher order woody roots. But this prediction has not been tested and may not be correct. Current evidence suggests that lower order roots may(More)