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Root-derived inputs are major contributors to soil carbon in temperate forests
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  • Adrienne Keller,
  • Edward Brzostek,
  • Matthew Craig,
  • Joshua Fisher,
  • Richard Phillips
Adrienne Keller
Indiana University Bloomington

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Edward Brzostek
West Virginia University
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Matthew Craig
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
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Joshua Fisher
California Institute of Technology
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Richard Phillips
Indiana University
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Roots promote the formation of slow-cycling soil carbon (C), yet we have limited understanding of the magnitude and controls on this flux. We hypothesized that root-derived inputs from ectomycorrhizal (ECM)-associated trees would be greater than those from arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM)-associated trees, and that soils receiving the greatest inputs would promote greater root-derived C accumulation in mineral-associated pools. We installed δ13C-enriched ingrowth cores across mycorrhizal gradients in six Eastern U.S. forests (n = 54 plots). Counter to our hypothesis, root-derived C was 54% greater in AM versus ECM-dominated plots, resulting in 175% more root-derived C in mineral-associated, slow-cycling pools in AM compared to ECM plots. Notably, root-derived soil C was comparable in magnitude to leaf litter inputs and aboveground net primary production. Our results suggest that variation in root-derived C inputs due to tree mycorrhizal dominance may be a key control of soil C dynamics in forests.
14 May 2020Submitted to Ecology Letters
18 May 2020Submission Checks Completed
18 May 2020Assigned to Editor
20 May 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
13 Jul 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
15 Jul 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
11 Sep 20201st Revision Received
14 Sep 2020Assigned to Editor
14 Sep 2020Submission Checks Completed
14 Sep 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
05 Oct 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
06 Oct 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
02 Nov 20202nd Revision Received
06 Nov 2020Assigned to Editor
06 Nov 2020Submission Checks Completed
09 Nov 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
09 Nov 2020Editorial Decision: Accept