Profiling, the below ground biomass of an emergent macrophyte using an adapted ingrowth core method

Liffen, T; Gurnell, A.M.; O'Hare, M.T.. 2013 Profiling, the below ground biomass of an emergent macrophyte using an adapted ingrowth core method. Aquatic Botany, 110. 97-102.

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In the context of our work exploring the role of Sparganium erectum as a physical ecosystem engineer, we aimed to test our hypothesis that the root and rhizome biomass of this species would be largely confined to the uppermost sediment layers, thereby having the effect of reinforcing newly deposited material and facilitating the growth of in-channel macrophyte stands and sediment accumulations. Detailed measurements of the below ground structures of linear emergent macrophytes, in terms of their biomass and architecture, are complicated by difficulties associated with sampling in the highly saturated sediments that these morphotypes typically occupy. In this paper, we describe the development of an adapted ingrowth core method, which allows the extrusion of an undisturbed root-soil matrix from highly saturated environments. The approach combines an ingrowth core, which is commonly used to measure fine-root production in forest topsoil, with an outer casing that facilitates the retention of a sample representative of field conditions, and a laboratory protocol that enables extrusion and measurement of biomass at different depth increments. The new approach enabled detailed depth profiling of S. erectum, and confirmed our hypothesis by demonstrating that root and rhizome biomass was predominantly located in the 10 cm of sediment closest to the sediment–water interface throughout our study.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 2 - Ecohydrological Processes > WA - 2.3 - Assess the responses of river, lake and wetland ecosystems to ecohydrological drivers
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Watt
ISSN: 0304-3770
Additional Keywords: below ground biomass; roots, rhizomes, sediment depth, Sparganium erectum, ecosystem engineering
NORA Subject Terms: Hydrology
Date made live: 13 Mar 2014 09:14 +0 (UTC)

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