Soil nutrients in relation to vertical roots distribution in the riparian zone ofThree Gorges Reservoir, China Soil nutrients in relation to vertical roots distribution in the riparian zone ofThree Gorges Reservoir, China

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Vol15 No.7: 1498-1509

Title】Soil nutrients in relation to vertical roots distribution in the riparian zone ofThree Gorges Reservoir, China

Author】ZHONG Rong-hua1,2; HU Jin-ming1,2; BAOYu-hai3; Wang Fei1,2; HE Xiu-bin3*

Addresses】1 Yunnan Key Laboratory of International Rivers and Transboundary Eco–security, Kunming 650091, China; 2 Institute of International Rivers and Eco–security, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China; 3 Key Laboratory of Mountain Surface Processes and Ecological Regulation, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China

Corresponding author】HE Xiu-bin

Citation】Zhong RH, Hu JM, Bao YH, et al. (2018) Soil nutrients in relation to vertical roots distribution in the riparian zone of Three Gorges Reservoir, China. Journal of Mountain Science 15(7). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-017-4719-y

DOI】https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-017-4719-y

Abstract】Since the impoundment of the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR), the riparian zone has been subjected to numerous environmental changes. This study was conducted to recognize the distribution of grass roots and its impacts on soil nutrients in the water level fluctuation zone of TGR. Roots of four predominant herbaceous plants in the study area, specifically, Cynodon dactylon, Hemarthria altissima, Hemarthria compressa, and Paspalum paspaloides, and their corresponding relation with soil nutrient contents were investigated. Root surface area density was determined with WinRHIZO, and the relationships of root distribution with soil depths and soil nutrient contents were studied. The results indicates that most roots are distributed in the top soil layer of 0-10 cm. Estimated root surface area density for the selected grass species ranges from 0.16to 13.44 cm2/cm3, and decreases exponentially with an increase in soil depth. Soil organic matter and total nitrogen contents are significantly lower on bare control area than the corresponding values on the grasslands. Total nutrient contents ongrasslandsofC. dactylon and H. compressa are higher than those of other grass areas. Root length densityand root surface area density are significantly correlated with soil organic matter and total nitrogen content for the four grasslands. The present results suggests that plant roots have significant effects on the distribution of soil nutrients in soil profiles in the riparian zone along the TGR. Nevertheless, additional investigations are needed to reveal the specific interactions between plant roots distribution, soil nutrients and water level fluctuations.

Keywords】Roots distribution; Soil nutrients; Water level fluctuations; Riparian zone; Root surface area density; Root length density