Brunner I, Brodbeck S, Walthert L (2002) Fine root chemistry, starch concentration, and vitality of subalpine conifer forests in relation to soil pH. Forest Ecology and Management, 165: 75-84. [10.1016/S0378-1127(01)00633-8]


fine root, root system and/or via the soil, Plants: Picea abies


The chemistry of fine roots of conifers of five subalpine forest stands in Switzerland was measured and related to soil pH. In addition, starch concentrations and "vitality" (dehydrogenase activity) of the fine roots were measured in order to relate them to the soil pH, to the fine root chemistry, and to the fine root Ca/Al molar ratio. In fine roots from mineral soils, significantly positive correlations between fine root elements and the soil pH occurred for Ca and Mg, as well as for the Ca/Al molar ratio, while significantly negative correlations occurred for the micronutrients and the heavy metals, in particular for Cu and Pb. In fine roots from the organic layer, most of the fine root elements were not or only weakly correlated with the pH, as well as the Ca/Al molar ratio. Fine root starch concentrations were highly significant positive correlated with the fine root elements Al, Fe, and Mo, whereas the fine root "vitality" was it with P and K. The correlations between the fine root Ca/Al molar ratio and the fine root starch concentration or the "vitality" were not significantly positive but negative correlated, suggesting that these two fine root parameters are not suitable as physiological indicators for fine root Ca/Al molar ratios or for possible fine root damage resulting from Al stress. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

LWF Classification

Network: LWF, Sites: Alptal Beatenberg Chironico Celerina Nationalpark, Category: ISI,