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Fine Root Biomass Differs Significantly across Different Forest Types and Soil Depth in Central Himalaya, India
Fine roots (diameter less than 2 mm) comprise a significant portion of the plant biomass. They are important for water absorption, cycling of nutrients and the carbon budget on a global scale. The aim of the present study was to quantify fine root biomass in the Nainital district, Central Himalaya, India, which has several dominant forest types. A total of 81 samples were collected from nine sample plots for each forest type in three distinct directions. The results showed that sal forest (1.11 0.04 t ha–1) had the largest fine root biomass, followed by oak forest (0.72 0.06 t ha–1) and pine forest (0.61 0.06 t ha–1). We observed that the trend in fine root biomass across different forest types was as follows: sal forest > oak forest > pine forest, significant at 0.05 level. Fine root biomass was also observed to decrease similarly with increasing soil depth in each forest type, following the trend: 0–20 cm > 20– 40 cm > 40–60 cm, which was significant at 0.05 level. Researchers will benefit from this study since it will help them comprehend fine root biomass variation and offer baseline data for future research on nutrient cycling and the global carbon budget.
Forest Types, Global Carbon Budget, Nutrient Cycling, Plant Biomass, Soil Depth
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