Root turnover and production by 14C dilution: implications of carbon partitioning in plants

Milchunas, D. G. ; Lauenroth, W. K. ; Singh, J. S. ; Cole, C. V. ; Hunt, H. W. (1985) Root turnover and production by 14C dilution: implications of carbon partitioning in plants Plant and Soil, 88 (3). pp. 353-365. ISSN 0032-079X

Full text not available from this repository.

Official URL:

Related URL:


Estimates of belowground net primary production (BNP) obtained by using traditional soil core harvest data are subject to a variety of potentially serious errors. In a controlled growth chamber experiment, we examined the aboveground-belowground, labile to structural tissue, and plant to soil dynamics of carbon to formulate a 14C dilution technique for potential successful application in the field and to quantify sources of error in production estimates. Despite the fact that the majority of net 14C movement between above- and belowground plant parts occurred between the initial labeling and day 5, significant quantities of 14C were incorporated into cell-wall tissue throughout the growing period. The rate of this increase at late sampling dates was greater for roots than for shoots. Total loss of assimilated 14C was 47% in wheat and 28% in blue grama. Exudation and sloughing in wheat and blue grama, respectively, was 15 and 6% of total uptake and 22 and 8% of total plant production. When root production estimates by 14C dilution were corrected for the quantities of labile 14C incorporated into structural carbon between two sampling dates, good agreement with actual production was found. The error associated with these estimates was ± 2% compared with a range of −119 to −57% for the uncorrected estimates. Our results suggest that this technique has potential field application if sampling is performed the year after labelling. Sources of errors in harvest versus 14C dilution estimates of BNP are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Springer.
Keywords:Belowground Net Primary Production; 14C Dilution; Exudation; Labile Carbon; Root Production; Structural Carbon; Translocation
ID Code:72982
Deposited On:03 Dec 2011 04:32
Last Modified:03 Dec 2011 04:32

Repository Staff Only: item control page