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A comparison of methods for converting rhizotron root length measurements into estimates of root mass production per unit ground area

Metcalfe, Dan LU ; Meir, P. and Williams, M. (2007) In Plant and Soil 301(1-2). p.279-288
Abstract
Rhizotrons provide valuable information about plant root production, but measurements are usually made in units of root length per unit surface area of observation window surface. These measurement units are not easily comparable to above-ground plant growth. To address this deficiency, several techniques have been developed to convert rhizotron measurement units into root mass production per unit ground area. In this study, four different conversion methods were applied to the same dataset of rhizotron measurements. This data was used to reveal the effect of conversion method upon estimates of the temporal variation in, and annual magnitude of, gross root mass production. Application of four different conversion methods resulted in gross... (More)
Rhizotrons provide valuable information about plant root production, but measurements are usually made in units of root length per unit surface area of observation window surface. These measurement units are not easily comparable to above-ground plant growth. To address this deficiency, several techniques have been developed to convert rhizotron measurement units into root mass production per unit ground area. In this study, four different conversion methods were applied to the same dataset of rhizotron measurements. This data was used to reveal the effect of conversion method upon estimates of the temporal variation in, and annual magnitude of, gross root mass production. Application of four different conversion methods resulted in gross root production estimates ranging between 2.1 and 11.4 t ha(-1) year(-1). Temporal variation in gross root mass production also varied between methods. All current methods for quantifying root production are likely to cause some disturbance and bias. Based upon a comparison of the sources of error present in each conversion method, we assess which methods are likely to produce the most reliable estimates of root biomass production per unit ground area, and propose additional measurements which could further improve accuracy. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
amazon tropical rainforest, fine root measurement, image analysis, rhizotron, root mass production, root quantification method
in
Plant and Soil
volume
301
issue
1-2
pages
279 - 288
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000252476000023
  • scopus:38349167923
ISSN
0032-079X
DOI
10.1007/s11104-007-9447-6
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
439152a8-3077-46d5-95fd-2bccf0418b10 (old id 4644553)
date added to LUP
2014-09-23 15:10:36
date last changed
2017-01-01 07:11:20
@article{439152a8-3077-46d5-95fd-2bccf0418b10,
  abstract     = {Rhizotrons provide valuable information about plant root production, but measurements are usually made in units of root length per unit surface area of observation window surface. These measurement units are not easily comparable to above-ground plant growth. To address this deficiency, several techniques have been developed to convert rhizotron measurement units into root mass production per unit ground area. In this study, four different conversion methods were applied to the same dataset of rhizotron measurements. This data was used to reveal the effect of conversion method upon estimates of the temporal variation in, and annual magnitude of, gross root mass production. Application of four different conversion methods resulted in gross root production estimates ranging between 2.1 and 11.4 t ha(-1) year(-1). Temporal variation in gross root mass production also varied between methods. All current methods for quantifying root production are likely to cause some disturbance and bias. Based upon a comparison of the sources of error present in each conversion method, we assess which methods are likely to produce the most reliable estimates of root biomass production per unit ground area, and propose additional measurements which could further improve accuracy.},
  author       = {Metcalfe, Dan and Meir, P. and Williams, M.},
  issn         = {0032-079X},
  keyword      = {amazon tropical rainforest,fine root measurement,image analysis,rhizotron,root mass production,root quantification method},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1-2},
  pages        = {279--288},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Plant and Soil},
  title        = {A comparison of methods for converting rhizotron root length measurements into estimates of root mass production per unit ground area},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11104-007-9447-6},
  volume       = {301},
  year         = {2007},
}