Tree root systems and nutrient mobilization: mineral weathering by rhizospheres and deep roots

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Roots mobilize nutrients via deep penetration and rhizosphere processes inducing weathering of primary minerals. These contribute to C transfer to soils and to tree nutrition. Assessments of these characteristics and processes of root systems are important for understanding long-term supplies of nutrient elements essential for forest growth and resilience. Research and techniques have signifi cantly advanced since Olof Tamm’s 1934 base mineral index for Swedish forest soils, and basic nutrient budget estimates for whole-tree harvesting systems of the 1970s. Recent research in areas that include some of the world’s most productive intensively managed forests, including Brazil and the Southeast and Pacifi c Northwest regions of the United States, have shown that root systems are often several meters in depth, and often extend deeper than soil is sampled. Large amounts of carbon are also sometimes stored at depth. Other recent studies on potential release of nutrients due to chemical weathering indicate the importance of root access to deep soil layers. Release profi les clearly indicate depletion in the top layers and a much higher potential in B and C horizons. Review of evaluations of potential sustainability of nutrient supplies for biomass harvesting and other intensive forest management systems will advance understanding of these important ecosystem properties, processes, and services.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date1 Oct 2014
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014
EventXXIV IUFRO World Congress - Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, United States
Duration: 5 Oct 201411 Oct 2014


ConferenceXXIV IUFRO World Congress
LocationSalt Palace
CountryUnited States
CitySalt Lake City

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