Date of Award:

5-1977

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Natural Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Range Science

Committee

Martyn M. Caldwell

Abstract

Root respiratory response of mature Atriplex confertifolia plants growing in established communities was measured during two growing seasons using freshly excised root segments and gas chromatography techniques. Respiratory response at fixed test temperatures changed significantly during the growing season, and this pattern of respiratory adjustment varied for root segments located at different depths in the soil profile. Respiration measured at a constant test temperature was highest during early sumner, and declined to minimum values in late summer and fall. Root segments taken from the top 30 cm of the soil profile displayed peak activity several weeks before root segments from greater depths reached maximum activity. The significance of these patterns of respiration is discussed in relation to the carbon balance of Atriplex plants and the uses of respiratory energy within the root system.

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