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The latitudinal pattern of fine-root diameter across the Northern Hemisphere
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  • Wei Guo,
  • Cunguo Wang,
  • Ivano Brunner,
  • Qinrong Tang,
  • Junni Wang,
  • Yingtong Zhou,
  • Maihe Li
Wei Guo
College of Agronomy, Shenyang Agricultural University
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Cunguo Wang
Northeast Normal University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Ivano Brunner
Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL
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Qinrong Tang
Northeast Normal University
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Junni Wang
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Yingtong Zhou
Northeast Normal University
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Maihe Li
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest Snow and Landscape Research WSL
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The importance of fine-root diameter for ecosystem functioning is increasingly recognized; yet, much remains to be learned about the variation in fine-root diameter at large scale. We conducted an analysis of fine-root diameter for 1,163 plant species to detect root diameter patterns in relation to resource availability (e.g. carbon, nitrogen and water), stress intensity (e.g. plant/soil biodiversity, soil bulk density) and temperature. First- to fourth-order root diameter showed non-linear relationships with latitude and/or mean annual temperature (except for first-order root diameter). The diameter of five root orders decreased with increasing mean annual precipitation, but increased with net primary production (NPP), which was the strongest determinant of fine-root diameter. Increasing soil biodiversity was associated with decreasing root diameter of fourth- to fifth-order roots while increased plant biodiversity was associated with decreasing diameter of first- to third-order roots. Total soil nitrogen had a positive effect on first-order root diameter, but a negative effect on fourth- and fifth-order root diameter. The patterns reversed for total soil phosphorus. First- to third-order and fifth-order root diameters increased with increasing soil bulk density. Second- to fourth-order root diameter increased with soil pH. Overall, the variables related to climate, biology and soil explained 44% to 63% of the total variance in the diameter of the different root orders. The unique patterns of plasticity observed in fine-root diameter across root orders in response to varying environmental conditions contributes to a diversification of strategies for nutrient/water acquisition and transport under climate change.
19 Mar 2024Assigned to Editor
19 Mar 2024Submission Checks Completed
19 Mar 2024Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
24 Mar 2024Reviewer(s) Assigned