Root development of 18-year-old abies holophylla under different densities of red pine overstories with different stand aspect

Root development of 18-year-old abies holophylla under different densities of red pine overstories with different stand aspect
Issue Date
Life Science Journal, v.10, no.3, pp.765 - 774
The aim of this study was to clarify the difference growth of underplanted Abies holophylla, which affected by overstory density and stand aspect. The overstory density needs to be considered as an interspecific competition factor that controls young Abies growth, not only by radiation limitation but also through root competition of the underground. In this study we clarify the differences in root system growth and architecture of underplanted Abies holophylla that is primarily influenced and controlled by the density of the overstory. Each research site represented a different overstory density class and also some differences in stand and slope aspects (valley plane with 500 trees/ha; east slope with 780 trees/ha and west slope with 1220 trees/ha). A total 15 firs, 5 representatives from each site were studied for their root shape, number of vertical and horizontal roots, root length, and root weight. The shape and growth increments of the roots in each stand were influenced by various environmental factors such as constitution, soil nutrients, gravel content, and slope angle. Roots of trees on the planes tended to be heart-shaped and grew around the gravel in a depth of 30-40 cm. The sample trees from the eastfacing stand had the second largest growth increment; their roots were straight taproot with a deep and welldeveloped center. The samples from the west-facing stand showed the least growth and had straight taproots, but with a bent center and lesser tiny roots than those found in samples from other stands. This difference appeared to be important and indicates that light availability becomes limited with density and species of the overstory, and that other site conditions and stand factor conditions, particularly soil characteristics, need to be considered for obtaining stable secondary forests by underplantation. Therefore, when A. holophylla is used for afforestation, slope aspect and overstory density should be considered as important factors.
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