Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Diversity and species identity effects on fine root productivity and turnover in a species-rich temperate broad-leaved forest

Andreas Jacob A , Dietrich Hertel A and Christoph Leuschner A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Plant Ecology, Albrecht von Haller Institute for Plant Sciences, University of Göttingen, Untere Karspüle 2, 37073 Göttingen, Germany.

B Corresponding author. Email: cleusch@gwdg.de

Functional Plant Biology 41(7) 678-689 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP13195
Submitted: 1 July 2013  Accepted: 20 January 2014   Published: 19 February 2014

Abstract

We investigated the evidence of belowground overyielding in a species-rich temperate broad-leaved forest with an ingrowth core study in 100 plots containing five common tree species (beech, lime, maple, hornbeam, ash) in mono-specific and 2-species or 3-species combinations. This design allowed separating diversity and species identity effects on root dynamics in a mature forest with long continuity. Fine root productivity was not significantly different between mono-specific and 2- or 3-species plots, whereas fine root turnover was significantly higher in the mixed than the mono-specific plots. Species identity effects on root turnover and root productivity were important. Ash achieved in the mixtures the highest fine root productivity and root turnover of all species; it is an apparent key species in this forest. Evidence in support of a diversity effect on fine root productivity and turnover was weak, however.

Additional keywords: belowground overyielding, Fagus sylvatica, Fraxinus excelsior, ingrowth cores, mixed stands, mono-specific stands, root longevity.


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