Variation of Root Traits and its Influences on Soil Organic Carbon Stability in Response to Altered Precipitation in an Alpine Meadow

36 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2024

See all articles by xiaoyan song

xiaoyan song

Southwest Minzu University

Changting Wang

Southwest Minzu University

Dan Liu

Southwest Minzu University

Fusheng Qiao

Southwest Minzu University

Guo Tang

Southwest Minzu University

Zalmen Henkin

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

Soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics are strongly controlled by plant roots. Yet, how variation of root traits under precipitation change influence SOC stability remains unclear. As part of a 5-year field experiment manipulating precipitation including 90% (0.1P), 50% (0.5P), 30% (0.7P) decrease and 50% increase (1.5P), this study was designed to assess effects of changing precipitation on root traits and production dynamics by minirhizotron and examine how such influences regulate SOC stability in an alpine meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. We found that root length density (RLD), specific root length (SRL), root branching intensity (RBI) and root residue carbon input (RC input) exhibited no significant response, whereas root turnover (RT), root carbon (C), nitrogen (N) concentrations and C/N ratio were altered by precipitation change. Alpine meadows can maintain the SOC content and density under varied precipitation condition. However, it showed significant variation in aggregate stability and organic carbon (OC) distribution in aggregates in topsoil, which were mainly due to the strong direct effects of soil moisture and partly related to RLD and RC input of transport roots. Although subsurface soil aggregate stability and OC associated with aggregates were not modified, our results indicated a risk of destabilization of SOC in subsurface soil due to adjustment of absorptive root RT and SRL when precipitation changed. These findings provide vital information to predict responses of SOC dynamics of alpine meadow to future climate change.

Keywords: Alpine grassland · climate change · functional fine-root classes · soil aggregate · extreme drought

Suggested Citation

song, xiaoyan and Wang, Changting and Liu, Dan and Qiao, Fusheng and Tang, Guo and Henkin, Zalmen, Variation of Root Traits and its Influences on Soil Organic Carbon Stability in Response to Altered Precipitation in an Alpine Meadow. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4705712 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4705712

Xiaoyan Song (Contact Author)

Southwest Minzu University ( email )

16 S 4th Section
1st Ring Rd, WuHouCi, Wuhou Qu, Chengdu Shi,
Sichuan Sheng
China

Changting Wang

Southwest Minzu University ( email )

16 S 4th Section
1st Ring Rd, WuHouCi, Wuhou Qu, Chengdu Shi,
Sichuan Sheng
China

Dan Liu

Southwest Minzu University ( email )

16 S 4th Section
1st Ring Rd, WuHouCi, Wuhou Qu, Chengdu Shi,
Sichuan Sheng
China

Fusheng Qiao

Southwest Minzu University ( email )

16 S 4th Section
1st Ring Rd, WuHouCi, Wuhou Qu, Chengdu Shi,
Sichuan Sheng
China

Guo Tang

Southwest Minzu University ( email )

16 S 4th Section
1st Ring Rd, WuHouCi, Wuhou Qu, Chengdu Shi,
Sichuan Sheng
China

Zalmen Henkin

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

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