Fine Root Mass Production and Nutrient Concentration of Two Banj oak (Quercus leucotricophora) Forests in Central Himalaya
Fine roots are an essential part of plant that absorbs water and nutrients from soil is the focus of our study. The present study was conducted in central Himalaya in the two banj oak (Quercus leucotricophora) forests. The objective of the study was to estimate fine root mass, productivity, turnover and nutrient dynamics. Fine roots samples were collected following sequential coring method over one year on monthly basis from three soil depths i.e. 0-10, 10-20 and 20-30 cm with the help of 8 cm diameter corer. Total mass (3.99-4.71 Mg ha-1) varied significantly (p<0.05) throughout season, depths and sites. Biomass (3.35- 3.88 Mg ha-1) was also significantly higher (p<0.01) than necromass (0.64- 0.83 Mg ha-1). Values of both biomass and necromass were found decreasing with soil depths. Productivity was estimated 2.80-3.12 Mg ha-1 y -1 and turnover was found 0.80-0.84 y-1. Nutrient concentration of phosphorus, potassium, sodium and calcium were found higher in live fine roots whereas, nitrogen was found higher in dead fine roots than live fine roots. We conclude that fine root mass is influenced by seasons and soil depths while it's nutrient value remains unaffected, additionally, total fine root mass and productivity is high in banj oak forests and substantial amount of carbon and nutrient is contributed to the soil makes it very crucial for the forest ecosystem.