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