Fine root turnover law and influencing factors in forest ecosystem

Jianing Zhao, Yun Liang, Ying Liu, Yujue Wang, Qianru Yang, Chunwang Xiao

Article ID: 1630
Vol 5, Issue 2, 2022, Article identifier:75-85

VIEWS - 89 (Abstract) 48 (PDF)


Root turnover is a key process of terrestrial ecosystem carbon cycle, which is of great significance to the study of soil carbon pool changes and global climate change. However, because there are many measurement and calculation methods of root turnover, the results obtained by different methods are quite different, and the current research on root turnover of forest ecosystem on the global regional scale is not sufficient, so the change law of root turnover of global forest ecosystem is still unclear. By collecting literature data and unifying the calculation method of turnover rate, this study integrates the spatial pattern of fine root turnover of five forest types in the world, and obtains the factors affecting fine root turnover of forest ecosystem in combination with soil physical and chemical properties and climate data. The results showed that there were significant differences in fine root turnover rate among different forest types, and it gradually decreased with the increase of latitude; the turnover rate of fine roots in forest ecosystem is positively correlated with annual average temperature and annual average precipitation; fine root turnover rate of forest ecosystem is positively correlated with soil organic carbon content, but negatively correlated with soil pH value. This study provides a scientific basis for revealing the law and mechanism of fine root turnover in forest ecosystem.


Fine Root Turnover; Global Forest Scale; Climate Factors; Soil Properties

Full Text:



Fan Y, Hou X, Shi H, et al. Effect of carbon cycling in grassland ecosystems on climate warming. Acta Prataculture Sinica 2012; 21(3): 294–302.

Heimann M, Reichstein M. Terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics and climate feedbacks. Nature 2008; 451: 289–292.

Xiao C, Yang F, Liu J, et al. Advances in input and output processes of below-ground carbon of terrestrial ecosystems. Chinese Bulletin of Botany 2017; 52(5): 652–668.

Chen L, Yuan Z, Mu X, et al. A review of fine root productivity of forest. Journal of Northwest of Forestry University 2015; 30(3): 70–75, 80.

Jiang H, Bai Y, Rao Y, et al. Fine root biomass and morphological characteristics in three different artificial forest communities in newly reclaimed saline soil. Chinese Bulletin of Botany 2016; 51(30): 343–352.

SunY, Wan H, Zhao Y, et al. Spatial patterns and drivers of root turnover in grassland ecosystems in China. Chinese Journal of Plant Ecology 2018; 42(3): 337–348.

Liu W, Wang G, Yu K, et al. A new method to optimize root order classification based on the diameter interval of fine root. Scientific Reports 2018; 8: 2960.

Ni H, Su W, Fan S, et al. Responses of forest soil nutrient cycling to nutrient input modes: A review. Chinese Journal of Ecology 2019; 38(3): 863–872.

Vogt KA, Vogt DJ, Palmiotto PA, et al. Review of root dynamics in forest ecosystems grouped by climate, climatic forest type and species. Plant and Soil 1995; 187: 159–219.

Matamala R, Gonzàlez-Meler MA, Jastrow JD, et al. Impacts of fine root turnover on forest NPP and soil C sequestration potential. Science 2003; 302: 1385–1387

Wang Y. Dixiao jignshengchanli, guanghechanwu fenpei ji genxi zhouzhuan dui butong caodi huifu cuoshi de xiangying (Chinese) [Responses of underground net productivity, photosynthate distribution and root turnover to different grassland restoration measures] [MSc thesis]. Changchun: Northeast Normal University; 2014. p. 5.

Arthur MA, Fahey TJ. Biomass and nutrients in an Engelmann spruce—Subalpine fir forest in north central Colorado: Pools, annual production, and internal cycling. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 1992; 22: 315–325.

Li L, Lin P, Xing X. Fine root biomass and production of Castanopsis eyrei forests in Wuyi Mountains. Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology 1998; 9(4): 337–340.

Zhang X, Wu K. Fine-root production and turnover for forest ecosystems. Scientia Silvae Sinicae 2001; 37(3): 126–138.

Liu X. The relative contribution of aboveground litter and fine roots to soil organic matter in mangrove [PhD thesis]. Beijing: Chinese Academy of Forestry; 2018. p. 3.

Mei L, Wang Z, Cheng Y, et al. A review: Factors influencing fine root longevity in forest ecosystems. Acta Phytoecologica Sinica 2004; 28(4): 704–710.

Wang S, Wang Z, Gu J. Variation patterns of fine root biomass, production and turnover in Chinese forests. Journal of Forestry Research 2017; 28: 1185–1194.

Cai H, Li F, Jin G. Fine root biomass, production and turnover rates in plantations versus natural forests: Effects of stand characteristics and soil properties. Plant and Soil 2019; 436: 463–474.

Vogt KA, Vogt DJ, Bloomfield J. Analysis of some direct and indirect methods for estimating root biomass and production of forests at an ecosystem level. Plant and Soil 1998; 200: 71–89.

Majdi H, Pregitzer K, Morén AS, et al. Measuring fine root turnover in forest ecosystems. Plant and Soil 2005; 276: 1–8.

Pritchard SG, Strand AE. Can you believe what you see? Reconciling minirhizotron and isotopically derived estimates of fine root longevity. New Phytologist 2008; 177(2): 287–291.

Xiao C, Sang W, Wang R. Fine root dynamics and turnover rate in an Asia white birch forest of Donglingshan Mountain, China. Forest Ecology and Management 2008; 255(34): 765–773.

Zhou Y, Su J, Janssens IA, et al. Fine root and litterfall dynamics of three Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis) forests along an altitudinal gradient. Plant and Soil 2014; 374: 19–32.

Xiao C, Janssens IA, Sang W, et al. Belowground carbon pools and dynamics in China’s warm temperate and sub-tropical deciduous forests. Biogeosciences 2010; 7: 275–287.

Liu L, Yang F, Wang Y, et al. Fine-root turnover, litterfall, and soil microbial community of three mixed coniferous-deciduous forests dominated by Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis) along a latitudinal gradient. Frontiers in Plant Science 2019; 10: 1298.

Trumbore SE, Gaudinski JB. The secret lives of roots. Science 2003; 302: 1344–1345.

Iversen CM, Ledford J, Norby RJ. CO2 enrichment increases carbon and nitrogen input from fine roots in a deciduous forest. New Phytologist 2008; 179: 837–847.

Bai W, Wan S, Niu S, et al. Increased temperature and precipitation interact to affect root production, mortality, and turnover in a temperate steppe: Implications for ecosystem C cycling. Global Change Biology 2010; 16: 1306–1316.

Luo Y. Uncertainties in interpretation of isotope signals for estimation of fine root longevity: Theoretical considerations. Global Change Biology 2003; 9: 1118–1129.

Wu Y, Che R, Ma S, et al. Estimation of root production and turnover in an alpine meadow: Comparison of three measurement methods. Acta Ecologica Sinica 2014; 34(13): 3529–3537.

Brunner I, Bakker MR, Björk RG, et al. Fine-root turnover rates of European forests revisited: An analysis of data from sequential coring and ingrowth cores. Plant and Soil 2013; 362: 357–372.

Aber JD, Melillo JM, Nadelhoffer KJ, et al. Fine root turnover in forest ecosystems in relation to quantity and form of nitrogen availability: A comparison of two methods. Oecologia 1985; 66: 317–321.

Gill RA, Jackson RB. Global patterns of root turnover for terrestrial ecosystems. New Phytologist 2000; 147: 13–31.

Li G, Ren H. Biomass and net primary productivity of the forests in different climatic zones of China. Tropical Geography 2004; 24: 306–310.

Zhou S. Butong qihoudai senlin diaoluowu de bainhua (Chinese) [Variation of forest litter in different climatic zones]. Xiandai Horticulture 2013; (12): 15.

Silver WL, Miya RK. Global patterns in root decomposition: comparisons of climate and litter quality effects. Oecologia 2001; 129: 407–419.

Yuan Z, Chen H. Fine root biomass, production, turnover rates, and nutrient contents in boreal forest ecosystems in relation to species, climate, fertility, and stand age: Literature review and meta-analyses. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences 2010; 29: 204–221.

Kosola KR, Eissenstat DM, Graham JH. Root demography of mature citrus trees: The influence of Phytophthora nicotianae. Plant and Soil 1995; 171: 283–288.

Henry AL, Cleland EE, Field CB, et al. Interactive effects of elevated CO2, N deposition and climate change on plant litter quality in a California annual grassland. Oecologia 2005; 142: 465–473.

Wang S. Shumu xigen xingtai jiegou he shengwulaing dongtai de dili bianyi (Chinese) [Geographical variation in tree fine root morphological structure and biomass dynamics] [PhD thesis]. Harbin: Northeast Forestry University; 2017. p. 57–58.

Cavelier J, Wright SJ, Santamaria J. Effects of irrigation on litterfall, fine root biomass and production in a semideciduous lowland forest in Panama. Plant and Soil 1999; 211: 207–213.

Joslin JD, Wolfe MH, Hanson PJ. Effects of altered water regimes on forest root systems. New Phytologist 2000; 147: 117–129.

Zhang X, Xing Y, Yan G, et al. Response of fine roots to precipitation change: A meta-analysis. Chinese Journal of Plant Ecology 2018; 42(20): 164–172.

Yang H. Turang xingneng dui shumu xigen shengchang de yingxiang (Chinese) [Effects of soil properties on tree fine root growth]. Xiangcun Keji 2019; (21): 54–55.

Lai Z. Fine root dynamics of four typical sandy shrubs and their effects on soil organic carbon [PhD thesis]. Beijing: Beijing Forestry University; 2015. p. 10–11.

Wang R, Cheng R, Xiao W, et al. Influencing factors of fine root production and turnover in forest ecosystem. World Forestry Research 2012; 25(1): 19–24.

Diabate B. Subsurface net productivity and fine root dynamics in Songnen grassland in response to different management practices [PhD thesis]. Changchun: Northeast Normal University; 2016. p. 78–79.

Zhang L, Zhang S. Turang pH zhidui lvhuashu shengzhang de yingxiang (Chinese) [Effects of soil pH on the growth of green trees] [PhD thesis]. Jiangxi Agriculture 2018; (16): 92, 97.

Wang AS, Angle JS, Chaney RL, et al. Changes in soil biological activities under reduced soil pH during Thlaspi caerulescens phytoextraction. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 2006; 38(6): 1451–1461.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Jianing Zhao, Yun Liang, Ying Liu, Yujue Wang, Qianru Yang, Chunwang Xiao

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License

This site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.