Home Ekologia - Ecology 2010 Ecology Vol.29, No.2, p.182-206, 2010

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Ecology Vol.29, No.2, p.182-206, 2010

Title: Belowground plant biomass of grassland ecosystems and its variation according to ecological factors
Author: K. Fiala

Abstract: Total belowground plant biomass (TBB, comprising both living and dead plant parts), percentage proportion (PLBB) and amount of living biomass (LBB), as well as, yearly net belowground biomass production (BNBP) and root turnover (TO) were assessed and compared in various stands of grasslands studied in the Czech Republic, northeaster part of USA and in Cuban savannas. TBB assessed in 45 different grassland stands varied in a broad range of values. There was mostly only 1000 to 1500 g DM m-2 in fresh moist meadows and dry grasslands but 2500 to 3500 g DM m-2 in old wet and moist meadows. Higher values (up to 3000 g DM m-2) were also found in mountain grasslands of clearcut areas. PLBB in TBB and LBB were also considerably variable (mostly ranged from 10 to 80% of living parts and from 260 to 2300 g DM m-2). Values of PLBB and LBB gradually increase and TBB decrease from wet meadows through moist and fresh moist meadows to clearcut grasslands. The highest values of LBB were also recorded in the centre of soil moisture gradient of a natural meadow hydrosere (1500 to 1700 g DM m-2). The lowest values of BNBP were recorded in unmowed Polygalo-Nardetum stands (750−950 g DM m-2 yr-1) and the highest ones in unmowed Polygono-Cirsietum palustris (1300 g DM m-2 yr-1). 500 g DM m-2 yr-1 was estimated in a savannas community. Obtained results suggest that TO period of total belowground plant mass is mostly about two to three years in mesophytic meadows and probably longer in stands growing in either dry or wet habitats. Meadow stands rich in plant species and with greater amount of LBB were more resistant to mowing, i.e., the decrease in both TBB and LBB was slower.

Keywords: belowground net production, fertilization, living belowground biomass, mowing, seasonal fluctuation, turnover rate
Year: 2010, Volume: 29, Issue: 2 Page From: 182, Page To: 206
Price: 17.50 €

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