Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Carbon and nutrient stocks in roots of forests at different altitudes in the Ecuadorian Andes

  • Nathalie Soethe (a1), Johannes Lehmann (a2) and Christof Engels (a1)

Abstract

Carbon and nutrient stocks in below-ground biomass have rarely been investigated in tropical montane forests. In the present study, the amounts of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur, potassium, calcium and magnesium in root biomass were determined by soil coring and nutrient analysis in forests at three altitudes (1900, 2400 and 3000 m) in the Ecuadorian Andes. Root biomass increased markedly from 2.8 kg m−2 at 1900 m and 4.0 kg m−2 at 2400 to 6.8 kg m−2 at 3000 m. The contribution of coarse roots (> 2 mm in diameter) to total root biomass increased from about 70% at 1900 m to about 80% at higher altitudes. In fine roots (≤ 2 mm in diameter), concentrations of nutrients except calcium markedly decreased with altitude. Therefore, the nutrient stocks in fine roots were similar at 1900 m and 3000 m for nitrogen and sulphur, and were even lower at higher altitudes for phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. In coarse roots of Graffenrieda emarginata concentrations of nutrients were substantially lower than in fine roots, and were little affected by altitude. The data suggest that the importance of coarse roots for long-term carbon and nutrient accumulation in total plant biomass increases with increasing altitude.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Corresponding author. Email: Nathalie.Soethe@agrar.hu-berlin.de

Keywords

Carbon and nutrient stocks in roots of forests at different altitudes in the Ecuadorian Andes

  • Nathalie Soethe (a1), Johannes Lehmann (a2) and Christof Engels (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed