In citrus, the majority of fine roots are distributed near the soil surface - a region where conditions are frequently dry and temperatures fluctuate considerably. To develop a better understanding of the relationship between changes in soil conditions and a plant's below-ground respiratory costs, the effects of temperature and soil drying on citrus root respiration were quantified in controlled greenhouse experiments. Chambers designed for measuring the respiration of individual roots were used. Under moist soil conditions, root respiration in citrus increased exponentially with changes in soil temperature (Q(10) = 1.8-2.0), provided that the changes in temperature were short-term. However, when temperatures were held constant, root respiration did not increase exponentially with increasing temperatures. Instead, the roots acclimated to controlled temperatures above 23 degreesC, thereby reducing their metabolism in warmer soils. Under drying soil conditions, root respiration decreased gradually beginning at 6% soil water content and reached a minimum at
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant Cell and Environment
Journal publication date2001

ID: 205380