Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-25
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-25

  29 Mar 2021

29 Mar 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

A global map of root biomass across the world's forests

Yuanyuan Huang1,2, Phillipe Ciais1, Maurizio Santoro3, David Makowski4,5, Jerome Chave6, Dmitry Schepaschenko7,8,9, Rose Z. Abramoff1, Daniel S. Goll1, Hui Yang1, Ye Chen10, Wei Wei11, and Shilong Piao12,13,14 Yuanyuan Huang et al.
  • 1Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Université Paris-Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 2Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Aspendale, 3195, Victoria, Australia
  • 3Gamma Remote Sensing, 3073 Gümligen, Switzerland
  • 4INRA, AgroParisTech, University Paris‐Saclay, UMR 211, F‐78850 Thiverval‐Grignon, France
  • 5CIRED, 45bis Avenue de la Belle Gabrielle, 94130 Nogent-sur-Marne, France
  • 6Laboratoire Evolution et Diversite Biologique UMR 5174, CNRS, Universite Paul Sabatier, 118 route de Narbonne, Toulouse, 31062 France
  • 7International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
  • 8Center of Forest Ecology and Productivity of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 117997, Russia
  • 9Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk, 660041, Russia
  • 10Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Northern Arizona University, 86001, Flagstaff, AZ, US
  • 11State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100085, China
  • 12Sino-French Institute for Earth System Science, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • 13Key Laboratory of Alpine Ecology and Biodiversity, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 14Center for Excellence in Tibetan Earth Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Abstract. As a key component of the Earth system, root plays the key role in linking Earth's lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere. Here we combine 10307 field measurements of forest root biomass worldwide with global observations of forest structure, climatic conditions, topography, land management and soil characteristics to derive a spatially explicit global high-resolution (~1 km) root biomass dataset, including fine and coarse roots. In total, 142 ± 25 (95 % CI) Pg of live dry matter biomass is stored below-ground, representing a global average root:shoot biomass ratio of 0.25 ± 0.10. Our estimations of total root biomass in tropical, temperate and boreal forests are 44–226 % smaller than earlier studies (Jackson et al., 1997; Robinson, 2007; Saugier et al., 2001). The smaller estimation is attributable to the updated forest area, spatially explicit above-ground biomass density used to predict the patterns of root biomass, new root measurements and upscaling methodology. We show specifically that the root shoot allometry is one underlying driver that leads to methodological overestimation of root biomass in previous estimations. Raw datasets and global maps generated in this study are deposited at the open access repository Figshare (https://figshare.com/articles/Supporting_data_and_code_for_A_global_map_of_root_biomass_across_the_world_s_forests/ 12199637).

Yuanyuan Huang et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Questions regarding reference depth', Bernhard Ahrens, 01 Apr 2021
  • RC1: 'A strong and interesting ms on new root biomass data product', Anonymous Referee #1, 29 Apr 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2021-25', Anonymous Referee #2, 05 Jul 2021

Yuanyuan Huang et al.

Data sets

Supporting data and code for A global map of root biomass across the world's forests Yuanyuan Huang, Phillipe Ciais, Maurizio Santoro, David Makowski, Jerome Chave, Dmitry Schepaschenko, Rose Z. Abramoff, Daniel S. Goll, Hui Yang, Ye Chen, Wei Wei, Shilong Piao https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.12199637.v1

Model code and software

Supporting data and code for A global map of root biomass across the world's forests Yuanyuan Huang, Phillipe Ciais, Maurizio Santoro, David Makowski, Jerome Chave, Dmitry Schepaschenko, Rose Z. Abramoff, Daniel S. Goll, Hui Yang, Ye Chen, Wei Wei, Shilong Piao https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.12199637.v1

Yuanyuan Huang et al.

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Short summary
Root plays the key role our Earth System. Here we combine 10307 field measurements of forest root biomass worldwide with global observations of forest structure, climatic conditions, topography, land management and soil characteristics to derive a spatially explicit global high-resolution (~1 km) root biomass dataset. In total, 142 ± 25 (95 % CI) Pg of live dry matter biomass is stored below-ground, representing a global average root:shoot biomass ratio of 0.25 ± 0.10.