Pavón, N.P., y Briones, O. 2000. Root distribution, standing crop biomass and belowground productivity in a semidesert in México. Plant Ecology 146: 131-136. Preprinted
In a semidesert community in México (Zapotitlán de las Salinas, Puebla) the vertical distribution of roots and root biomass was estimated at 0100 cm depth on two sampling dates, November 1995 (wet season) and January 1998 (dry season). Root productivity at 7 to 14.5 cm depth was estimated with the in-growth core technique every two months fromMarch 1996 to February 1998. The relationship between environmental factors and seasonal root productivity was analyzed. Finally, we tested the effect of an irrigation equivalent to 20 mm of rain on root production. Seventy four percent of the total number of roots were found at 0-40 cm depth. Very fine roots (<1 mm diameter) were found throughout the soil profile (0-100 cm). In contrast, fine roots (1-3 mm diameter) were found only from 090 cm depth, and coarse roots (>3 mm diameter) from 060 cm depth. The root biomass was 971.5 g m??2 (S.D. D 557.39), the very fine and fine roots representing 62.9% of the total. Total root productivity, as estimated with the ingrowth core technique, was 0.031 Mg ha??1 over the dry season and 0.315 Mg ha??1 over the wet season. Only very fine roots were obtained at all sampling dates. Rainfall was significantly correlated with very fine root production. The difference between fine root production in non-watered (0.054 g m??2) and watered (0.429 g m??2) treatments was significant. The last value was the same as that predicted for a rain of 20 mm, according to the exponential model describing the relation between the production of very fine roots and rainfall at the site.