Morphology and function. The position and form of individual roots on

Morphology and function. The position and form of individual roots on the branching fine root system are typically disregarded by the said classification modes [34?7]. Guo et al. examined the anatomy and mycorrhizal colonization of branch order in 23 Chinese temperate tree species, and demonstrated that active nutrient absorption was mainly achieved by the first three orders of the root system, particularly the first-order roots (tiny lateral branches at the very distal end of the root system) [37]. To effectively measure the root foraging ability, the first three root orders should collectively be taken into account, rather than the entire fine root system, when determining the root architectureindicators for woody plants. To the best of our knowledge, none of the previous studies have employed such novel indirect assessment methods of root foraging. Plants producing preferentially roots in nutrient-rich substrate patches were proposed to function as the primary root foraging mechanism by which plants cope with the naturally occurring heterogeneous nutrient O K7 (A, D) and K18 (B, E). Merged images (C supply in soil [5,38]. Several studies indicated that a plant in the presence of neighboring roots preferentially grows new roots in unoccupied soil before it does the same in a space already occupied by other species or conspecifics [21,39]. However, little information is available on how the foraging behavior of plant root systems responds to the simultaneous presence of nutrient heterogeneity and neighboring roots [8,10]. To HIV-RT inhibitor 1 obtain a more mechanistic understanding of plant root foraging response to neighbors and nutrients, we simultaneously manipulated nutrient heterogeneity and intraspecies competition conditions, investigated root foraging responses based on the root architecture, and assessed their influence on nutrient uptake in spruce (Picea asperata), the dominant tree species in the subalpine coniferous forests of western Sichuan, China.Materials and Methods Ethics StatementThe experiment was set up at an open field (31u259N, 103u129E, 2309 m, a.s.l.) in the Miyaluo natural reserve of Lixian County, Eastern Tibetan Plateau, in Sichuan, China. We obtained appropriate permissions from the Forestry Bureau of Lixian County, and from the forestry workers for field study. In present study, spruce (P. asperata) seedlings, the dominant tree species in natural reserve, were used as investigated subject, and we confirmed that our studies did not involve endangered or protected species. In addition, no specific permission was required for these locations because our study was the general pot experiment.Experimental Design and TreatmentsThe experimental site had a montane monsoon climate, which was humid and rainy in summer but cold and dry in winter, with mean January and July temperatures of 28uC and 12.6uC, respectively. The mean annual precipitation ranged from 600 mm to 1100 mm, and the mean annual evaporation was from 1000 mm to 1900 mm. The soil was classified as mountain brown earth [40]. On April 2011, 32 large circular plastic pots (38 cm in diameter, 30 cm deep) were divided into two parts of equal volume using solid plywood planks (see Fig. 1). The 23977191 pots were filled with sieved, root free soil (4.5 mm mesh) from the neighboring forest. The basic soil properties were as follows: pH, 5.85; soil organic C,Assessing Root Foraging Feature by ArchitectureAssessing Root Foraging Feature by ArchitectureFigure 2. The ratio “vegetated half: non-vegetated half” in root system bioma.Morphology and function. The position and form of individual roots on the branching fine root system are typically disregarded by the said classification modes [34?7]. Guo et al. examined the anatomy and mycorrhizal colonization of branch order in 23 Chinese temperate tree species, and demonstrated that active nutrient absorption was mainly achieved by the first three orders of the root system, particularly the first-order roots (tiny lateral branches at the very distal end of the root system) [37]. To effectively measure the root foraging ability, the first three root orders should collectively be taken into account, rather than the entire fine root system, when determining the root architectureindicators for woody plants. To the best of our knowledge, none of the previous studies have employed such novel indirect assessment methods of root foraging. Plants producing preferentially roots in nutrient-rich substrate patches were proposed to function as the primary root foraging mechanism by which plants cope with the naturally occurring heterogeneous nutrient supply in soil [5,38]. Several studies indicated that a plant in the presence of neighboring roots preferentially grows new roots in unoccupied soil before it does the same in a space already occupied by other species or conspecifics [21,39]. However, little information is available on how the foraging behavior of plant root systems responds to the simultaneous presence of nutrient heterogeneity and neighboring roots [8,10]. To obtain a more mechanistic understanding of plant root foraging response to neighbors and nutrients, we simultaneously manipulated nutrient heterogeneity and intraspecies competition conditions, investigated root foraging responses based on the root architecture, and assessed their influence on nutrient uptake in spruce (Picea asperata), the dominant tree species in the subalpine coniferous forests of western Sichuan, China.Materials and Methods Ethics StatementThe experiment was set up at an open field (31u259N, 103u129E, 2309 m, a.s.l.) in the Miyaluo natural reserve of Lixian County, Eastern Tibetan Plateau, in Sichuan, China. We obtained appropriate permissions from the Forestry Bureau of Lixian County, and from the forestry workers for field study. In present study, spruce (P. asperata) seedlings, the dominant tree species in natural reserve, were used as investigated subject, and we confirmed that our studies did not involve endangered or protected species. In addition, no specific permission was required for these locations because our study was the general pot experiment.Experimental Design and TreatmentsThe experimental site had a montane monsoon climate, which was humid and rainy in summer but cold and dry in winter, with mean January and July temperatures of 28uC and 12.6uC, respectively. The mean annual precipitation ranged from 600 mm to 1100 mm, and the mean annual evaporation was from 1000 mm to 1900 mm. The soil was classified as mountain brown earth [40]. On April 2011, 32 large circular plastic pots (38 cm in diameter, 30 cm deep) were divided into two parts of equal volume using solid plywood planks (see Fig. 1). The 23977191 pots were filled with sieved, root free soil (4.5 mm mesh) from the neighboring forest. The basic soil properties were as follows: pH, 5.85; soil organic C,Assessing Root Foraging Feature by ArchitectureAssessing Root Foraging Feature by ArchitectureFigure 2. The ratio “vegetated half: non-vegetated half” in root system bioma.

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