Biomass -- Florida, Carbon -- Florida, Growth (Plants) -- Florida, Oak -- Florida, Oak -- Florida -- Phenology, Roots (Botany) -- Florida
Allocation of assimilated carbon amongst plant metabolic processes and tissues is important to understanding ecosystem carbon cycles. Due to the range of spatio-temporal scales and complex process interactions involved, direct measurements of allocation in natural environments are logistically difficult. Modeling approaches provide tools to examine these patterns by integrating finer scale process measurements. One such method is root:shoot balance, where plant growth is limited by either shoot activity (i.e. photosynthesis) or root activity (i.e. water and nutrient uptake). This method shows promise for application on frequently disturbed systems which perturb aboveground biomass and thus create imbalances in root and shoot activities. In this study, root:shoot balance, allometric relationships and phenological patterns were used to model carbon allocation and growth in Florida scrub oaks. The model was tested using ecosystem gas exchange (i.e. eddy covariance) and meteorological data from two independent sites at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, FL which experienced two different types of disturbance events: a prescribed burn in 2006 and wind damage from Hurricane Frances in 2004. The effects of the two disturbance events, which differed greatly in magnitude and impact, were compared to identify similarities and differences in plant allocation response. Model results and process-based sensitivity analysis demonstrated the strong influence of autotrophic respiration on plant growth and allocation processes. Also, fine root dynamics were found to dominate partitioning trends of carbon allocated to growth. Overall, model results aligned well with observed biomass trends, with some discrepancies that suggest fine root turnover to be more dynamic than currently iv parameterized in the model. This modeling approach can be extended through the integration with more robust process models, for example, mechanistic photosynthesis, nitrogen uptake and/or dynamic root turnover models.
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Seiler, Troy J., "Modeling Carbon Allocation, Growth And Recovery In Scrub Oaks Experiencing Aboveground Disturbance" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1964.