Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    Total belowground biomass, soil C, and N mass were measured in plots of 32-year-old black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) Britton, Sterns & Poggenb.) from four full-sib families studied previously for drought tolerance and differential productivity on a dry and a wet site. Stump root biomass was greater on the wet than on the dry site; however, combined fine and coarse root biomass was greater on the dry than on the wet site, resulting in no site root biomass differences. There were no site differences in root distribution by soil depth. Drought-tolerant families had greater stump root biomass and allocated relatively less to combined coarse and fine roots than drought-intolerant families. Fine roots (2 mm) made up 10.9% and 50.2% of the belowground C and N biomass. Through 50 cm soil depth, mean total belowground C mass was 187.2 Mg·ha–1, of which 8.9%, 3.4%, 0.7%, and 87.0% were from the stump root, combined fine and coarse roots, necromass, and soil, respectively. Here, we show that belowground C sequestration generally mirrors (mostly from stump roots) aboveground growth, and thus, trends in genetic and genetic  environment productivity effects result in similar effects on belowground C sequestration. Thus, tree improvement may well be an important avenue to help stem increases in atmospheric CO2.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Major, John E.; Johnsen, Kurt H.; Barsi, Debby C.; Campbell, Moira. 2012. Total below-ground carbon and nitrogen partitioning of mature black spruce displaying genetic x soil moisture interaction in growth. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 42:1939-1952. 14 p. doi:10.1139/x2012-145


    Google Scholar


    roots, carbon, black spruce, genetics

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page