Global patterns in fine root decomposition: climate, chemistry, mycorrhizal association and woodiness

Craig R. See, Michael Luke McCormack, Sarah E. Hobbie, Habacuc Flores-Moreno, Whendee L. Silver, Peter G. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fine root decomposition constitutes a critical yet poorly understood flux of carbon and nutrients in terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we present the first large-scale synthesis of species trait effects on the early stages of fine root decomposition at both global and local scales. Based on decomposition rates for 279 plant species across 105 studies and 176 sites, we found that mycorrhizal association and woodiness are the best categorical traits for predicting rates of fine root decomposition. Consistent positive effects of nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations and negative effects of lignin concentration emerged on decomposition rates within sites. Similar relationships were present across sites, along with positive effects of temperature and moisture. Calcium was not consistently related to decomposition rate at either scale. While the chemical drivers of fine root decomposition parallel those of leaf decomposition, our results indicate that the best plant functional groups for predicting fine root decomposition differ from those predicting leaf decomposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)946-953
Number of pages8
JournalEcology letters
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Fingerprint

fine root
chemistry
decomposition
climate
degradation
fine roots
terrestrial ecosystem
lignin
functional group
leaves
calcium
moisture
phosphorus
synthesis
effect
rate
carbon
nutrient
nitrogen
nutrients

Keywords

  • Carbon cycling
  • MANE framework
  • decay
  • meta-analysis
  • nutrient cycling
  • organic matter
  • plant economics spectrum
  • plant functional traits
  • plant litter
  • soil organic matter

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Letter

Cite this

Global patterns in fine root decomposition : climate, chemistry, mycorrhizal association and woodiness. / See, Craig R.; Luke McCormack, Michael; Hobbie, Sarah E.; Flores-Moreno, Habacuc; Silver, Whendee L.; Kennedy, Peter G.

In: Ecology letters, Vol. 22, No. 6, 06.2019, p. 946-953.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

See, Craig R. ; Luke McCormack, Michael ; Hobbie, Sarah E. ; Flores-Moreno, Habacuc ; Silver, Whendee L. ; Kennedy, Peter G. / Global patterns in fine root decomposition : climate, chemistry, mycorrhizal association and woodiness. In: Ecology letters. 2019 ; Vol. 22, No. 6. pp. 946-953.
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