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Above and belowground phenology of four Mediterranean sub-shrubs. Preliminary results on root–shoot competition

AuthorsPalacio, Sara ; Montserrat-Martí, Gabriel
KeywordsFine root growth
Phenological pattern
Phenophase overlap
Water limitation
Winter cold
Issue DateMar-2007
CitationJournal of Arid Environments 68(4): 522-533 (2007)
AbstractAbove and belowground phenology are critical aspects for plant life in areas of seasonal climate like Mediterranean regions. However, fine root growth phenology is rarely considered in most phenological studies. In this article we describe the above and belowground phenology of four species of Mediterranean sub-shrubs growing along a gradient of temperature and water availability, with special attention at the relationship between both processes. Observations were conducted monthly over a minimum of 12 months per species. Fine root growth varied significantly throughout the year, being higher in autumn than in spring and minimum in summer. In the species growing in cold areas, root growth was also reduced during winter. Shoot growth was maximum in spring for the four study species, buts its beginning was related to the site temperature, being earlier in those species growing in warmer sites. The species displaying a short vegetative period tended to separate root and shoot growth processes throughout the year. These results emphasize the importance of water availability and winter cold on fine root growth. A trade-off appears to exist between the duration of the vegetative period and the overlap between root and shoot growth processes.
Description12 páginas, 4 figuras, 2 tablas.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2006.07.008
Appears in Collections:(IPE) Artículos
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