Fine roots and fungi in the bog. 

Prior to the SPRUCE experimental treatments (in 2010-2012), we used manual minirhizotrons to determine how the amount and timing of fine-root growth in a forested, ombrotrophic bog varied across gradients of vegetation density, peat microtopography, and changes in environmental conditions across the growing season and throughout the peat profile (Iversen et al., 2018). We then installed manual minirhizotrons  in each SPRUCE experimental plot in fall, 2012. We have been tracking the responses of fine-root dynamics to warming and elevated [CO2] ever since with help from local phenologist and KAXE radio host, John Latimer

Prototypes of newly-developed automated minirhizotrons from RhizoSystems, LLC are being tested in each SPRUCE experimental plot. They will allow us to track changes in root dynamics, as well as fungal hyphae, at a much greater resolution. Use these automated minirhizotrons to tour the belowground world at SPRUCE.


Iversen CM, Childs J, Norby RJ, Ontl TA, Kolka RK, Brice DJ, McFarlane KJ, Hanson PJ. 2018. Fine-root growth in a forested bog is seasonally dynamic, but shallowly distributed in nutrient-poor peat. Plant and Soil 424: 123-143.

Related Publications.

Griffiths NA, Hanson PJ, Ricciuto DM, Iversen CM, Jensen AM, Malhotra A, McFarlane KJ, Norby RJ, Sargsyan K, Sebestyen SD, Shi X, Walker AP, Ward EJ, Warren JM, Weston DJ. 2017. Temporal and spatial variation in peatland carbon cycling and implications for interpreting responses of an ecosystem-scale warming experimentSoil Science Society of America Journal 81: 1668-1688.

Iversen CM. 2014. Using root form to improve our understanding of root function. New Phytologist 203: 707-709.

Data Sets.

Childs J, Defrenne CE, Brice DJ, Woodward J, Holbrook KN, Nettles WR, Taggart M, Iversen CM. 2020. SPRUCE High-Resolution Minirhizotrons in an Experimentally-Warmed Peatland Provide an Unprecedented Glimpse at Fine Roots and their Fungal Partners: Supporting Data. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TES SFA, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A.

Iversen CM, Childs J, Norby RJ, Garrett A, Martin A, Spence J, Ontl TA, Burnham A, Latimer J, 2017. SPRUCE S1 bog fine-root production and standing crop assessed with minirhizotrons in the Southern and Northern ends of the S1 bog. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A.

This research is funded by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Related projects.

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