Current issue: 54(2)
In this study an attempt was made to use manometric Warburg technique in studying the growing season variations in the respiration rates of the roots of 1–3-year-old seedlings of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.). The respiration rates in both short-roots and long-roots have also been investigated.
According to the results, respiration intensity was the greatest in Scots pine and Norway spruce short-roots but also considerable in the long-root tips at the points of elongation. When the oxygen uptake rate per weight unit in the pine short-roots is given value of 100, the rate in the long-root tips is 61 and in the basal area 36. The corresponding values for spruce are 100, 69 and 43. The relative carbon dioxide release rates are different for the basal parts of the long-roots: pine 53 and spruce 57, when the CO2 release from the short-roots is 100. The CO2 release rate in the basal parts of the long-roots is relatively greater than the oxygen uptake. The respiration rate of the root systems of pine was larger than that of spruce due to the larger size of the root system.
The respiration rate per unit weight of pine roots of the 1- to 3-year-old seedlings decreases significantly with the increasing age. In spruce, the decrease was smaller. The result could have been different if only the short-roots of the same growing season were studied from all seedlings.
During the first growing season the root respiration rate decreased from the middle of the summer towards autumn. An experiment with pine seedlings grown in the mineral soil showed a very rapid increase in respiration rate in the spring. The rate, especially oxygen uptake, is at its greatest in the roots at the time of fastest growth.