Fine-root dynamics and biomass distribution in a Quercus ecosystem following harvesting

Xiwei Yin, Jim A Perry, Robert K. Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study tested the hypotheses: i) that harvesting significantly affects fine-root biomass, production and mortality; and ii) that below-ground living plant biomass recovers to pre-harvest level more rapidly than above-ground biomass. Vertical distribution, temporal trends, production and mortality of fine-root biomass, and below-ground and above-ground biomass were estimated for clearcut (CC), shelter-woodcut (SC) and undisturbed (NC) sites in a Quercus ecosystem at the Hardies Creek Forest, Wisconsin, U.S.A. The CC site differed from the NC site in vertical distribution, standing biomass, and production and mortality of fine-root biomass, while the SC site was similar to the NC site. Below-ground biomass on CC was about 22% of that on NC compared to 6% for above-ground; both below-ground and above-ground biomass estimates on SC were about 82% of those on NC. Differences between CC and NC were attributed to vigorous development of dense-rooting understory plants induced by the cutting. Biomass, production and mortality of fine-root biomass in post-harvest stands follow a sequence explainable on the basis of plant community succession.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-177
Number of pages19
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Volume27
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1989

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