Arctic rooting depth distribution influences modelled carbon emissions but cannot be inferred from aboveground vegetation type

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A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
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The distribution of roots throughout the soil drives depth-dependent plant–soil interactions and ecosystem processes, particularly in arctic tundra where plant biomass, is predominantly belowground. Vegetation is usually classified from aboveground, but it is unclear whether such classifications are suitable to estimate belowground attributes and their consequences, such as rooting depth distribution and its influence on carbon cycling. We performed a meta-analysis of 55 published arctic rooting depth profiles, testing for differences both between distributions based on aboveground vegetation types (Graminoid, Wetland, Erect-shrub, and Prostrate-shrub tundra) and between ‘Root Profile Types’ for which we defined three representative and contrasting clusters. We further analyzed potential impacts of these different rooting depth distributions on rhizosphere priming-induced carbon losses from tundra soils. Rooting depth distribution hardly differed between aboveground vegetation types but varied between Root Profile Types. Accordingly, modelled priming-induced carbon emissions were similar between aboveground vegetation types when they were applied to the entire tundra, but ranged from 7.2 to 17.6 Pg C cumulative emissions until 2100 between individual Root Profile Types. Variations in rooting depth distribution are important for the circumpolar tundra carbon-climate feedback but can currently not be inferred adequately from aboveground vegetation type classifications.
| openaire: EC/H2020/819202/EU//SOS.aquaterra Funding Information: We thank the PrimeSCale team for laying the foundation of this research. We further thank Colleen Iversen for being up to date with root representation in models. BW acknowledges ERC StG PRIMETIME (grant no. 101039588). MK acknowledges European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement no. 819202). Publisher Copyright: © 2023 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2023 New Phytologist Foundation.
arctic tundra, permafrost, plant–soil interactions, rhizosphere priming effect, root biomass, root vertical distribution strategies, rooting depth
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Blume-Werry, G, Dorrepaal, E, Keuper, F, Kummu, M, Wild, B & Weedon, J T 2023, ' Arctic rooting depth distribution influences modelled carbon emissions but cannot be inferred from aboveground vegetation type ', NEW PHYTOLOGIST, vol. 240, no. 2, pp. 502-514 .