Plant Root Characteristics and Dynamics in Arctic Tundra Ecosystems, 1960-2012

Colleen Iversen, Victoria Sloan, Patrick Sullivan, Eugenie Euskirchen, David McGuire, Richard Norby, Anthony Walker, Jeffrey Warren & Stan Wullschleger
Plant roots play a critical role in ecosystem function in arctic tundra, but root dynamics in these ecosystems are poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, we synthesized available literature on tundra roots, including their distribution, dynamics, and contribution to ecosystem carbon and nutrient fluxes, and we highlighted key aspects of their representation in terrestrial biosphere models. Across all tundra ecosystems, belowground plant biomass exceeded aboveground biomass, with the exception of polar desert tundra. Roots...
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