Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2015, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (11): 1071-1081.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.0104

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Fine root production of Pinus massoniana plantation and Castanopsis carlesii plantation at different successional stages in subtropical China

CHEN Yun-Yu, XIONG De-Cheng, HUANG Jin-Xue, WANG Wei-Wei, HU Shuang-Cheng, DENG Fei, XU Chen-Sen, FENG Jian-Xin, SHI Shun-Zeng, ZHONG Bo-Yuan, CHEN Guang-Shui*()   

  1. School of Geographical Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Cultivation Base of State Key Laboratory of Humid Subtropical Mountain Ecology, Fuzhou 350007, China
  • Received:2015-06-20 Accepted:2015-09-30 Online:2015-12-02 Published:2015-11-01
  • Contact: Guang-Shui CHEN
  • About author:

    # Co-first authors


AimsOur objectives were to determine differences in fine root production, its relationships with environmental factors, and its diameter- and depth-related distribution patterns between plantations of two subtropical tree species differing in successional stages. MethodsPlantation forests of an early-successional species, Pinus massoniana, and a late-successional species, Castanopsis carlesii, in Sanming, Fujian Province, were selected. Fine root production was monitored for two years using minirhizotrons methods. At the same time, environmental factors including monthly air temperature, monthly precipitation, soil temperature, and soil water content were determined.Important findings 1) During the two years, there was significant difference in annual fine root length production between these two forests, with annual production of P. massoniana plantation nearly four times that of C. carlesii plantation. Fine root length production under both forests showed significant monthly dynamics and maximized in summer, a season when most of fine roots were born. 2) Roots of 0-0.3 mm in diameter accounted for the largest proportion of total fine root length production. Fine roots were concentrated mostly at the 0-10 cm soil depth in P. massoniana plantation, but happened mostly at the 30-40 cm soil depth in the C. carlesii plantation. 3) Partial correlation analysis suggested that, monthly fine root production of both forests was significantly correlated with both air temperature and soil temperature, while it had no significant correlation with either rainfall or soil water content. Linear regression analysis illustrated that monthly fine root production was more correlated with air temperature and soil temperature in the P. massoniana plantation than in the C. carlesii plantation. It was concluded that fine root production in the early-successional P. massoniana plantation was not only much higher in amount, but also more sensitive to temperature, than that in the late-successional C. carlesii plantation.

Key words: subtropical, Pinus massoniana, Castanopsis carlesii, successional stages, fine root production, temperature, water

Table 1

Repeated measures ANOVA on difference of monthly fine root length production in Pinus massoniana and Castanopsis carlesii plantations"

Source of variation
III type sum of square
Degree of freedom
Mean square
Within- and between-group error
月份 Month 0.826 23 0.036 4.093 < 0.001
月份×林分 Month×Stand 0.444 23 0.019 2.202 0.004
林分 Stand 1.244 1 1.244 31.573 0.005

Fig. 1

Monthly fine root production and proportion of Pinus massoniana and Castanopsis carlesii plantation from January 2013 to December 2014 (mean ± SE)."

Fig. 2

Seasonal distribution of total fine root production in Pinus massoniana and Castanopsis carlesii plantations during the two-year experiment period (mean ± SE)."

Fig. 3

Monthly mean air temperature, rainfall, soil temperature and soil water content of the experimental sites from January 2013 to December 2014. A, Monthly mean air temperature (◇) of experimental field, soil temperature of Pinus massoniana plantation (●) and Castanopsis carlesii plantation (○). B, Monthly rainfall of experimental field (□), soil water content of Pinus massoniana plantation (●) and Castanopsis carlesii plantation (○)."

Fig. 4

Correlation diagrams and regression equations of fine roots monthly production and environmental factors of the two forests."

Fig. 5

Distribution among diameter classes for total fine root production of Pinus massoniana and Castanopsis carlesii plantations during the two-year experiment period (mean ± SE)."

Fig. 6

Distribution among soil depths for total fine root production of Pinus massoniana and Castanopsis carlesii plantations during the two-year experiment period (mean ± SE)."

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