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Root biomass root distribution and the fine root growth dynamics of quercus coccifera l. in the garrigue of southern france


Root biomass root distribution and the fine root growth dynamics of quercus coccifera l. in the garrigue of southern france



Vegetatio 87(1): 37-44



ISSN/ISBN: 0042-3106

DOI: 10.2307/20038611

Quercus coccifera L., the characteristic scrub oak of the garrigue, covers more than 100,000 ha in southern France alone. Precipitation in this area averages 900 mm/year and summer rains are not rare. A total belowground biomass of 7.2 kg/m2, including rhizomes and lignotubers, was harvested. Roots were concentrated in the uppermost 50 cm of the soil. It was hypothesized that low winter temperatures inhibit active fine-root growth. This hypothesis was tested by means of fine-root extractions of soil samples from 0-50 cm depth from November 1987 to June 1988. Although the fine-root analysis could not be extended into late summer and fall, the data supported the hypothesis. Ratios of live/dead fine roots reached their minimum at 0.2-0.3 from December to April. They increased to 1.0-1.2 during late spring and early summer. Initiation of fine-root growth in early April was synchronous with bud break. Starch contents of roots, rhizomes, and lignotubers fluctuated from 4.3% in January to 8.3% in April. The starch stored in belowground organs of Q. coccifera in a closed canopy stand amounted to about 500 g/m2 in April. This amount declined to 400 g with bud burst and fine-root growth initiation.

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Accession: 007765603

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