In May 2023, Laynara Lugli and Tatiana Reichert traveled to Manaus, Brazil, for a second time to investigate the natural variability of organic acid exudation by roots in another forest in Central Amazon. This time, sampling took place at the 6 plots belonging to the AmazonFACE experiment located near Manaus. This will be the first time that a Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiment is installed in hyper-diverse tropical forests. The idea is to increase atmospheric CO2 by 200 ppm in 3 of the rings and determine how Amazon forests would respond to this simulated future climate.
Our team aimed to collect the baseline measurements for total carbon and organic acids exudates by roots in this forest. Since up to 30% of a plant’s net primary productivity can be allocated to these root compounds, understanding their natural variability now will be crucial to determine if and how these plants could up- or down-regulate this strategy.
We are working closely together with the AmazonFACE team in Manaus, to cover all the possible mechanisms, above and belowground, by which this forest in Central Amazon could respond to elevated CO2, with special attention to strategies related to nutrient acquisition and use efficiency.
Don’t forget to check this YouTube video we made during our TropiRoot workshop in Barro Colorado, Panama, in April 2023. This workshop was funded by New Phytologist and aimed to bring together scientists involved in tropical root science. In this video, we demonstrate the methodology for root exudation collection.