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Extent of Main Lateral Roots in Natural Longleaf Pine as Related to Position and Age of the Trees

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Root distribution was studied in the surface soil of a natural stand of longleaf pine in the coastal plain of southwestern Alabama. Trees were selected in replicated competition and age classes, and four main lateral roots were excavated for each tree. Lateral roots were at an average soil depth of 8.1 cm and were highly intermixed from the different trees throughout the surface soil layer. Lateral roots on overmature trees originated from the taproot at 20.4 cm, much deeper than for all other trees. Lateral root length and spread increased with improved competitive position of the tree and with age up to maturity. Forest Sci. 23:161-166.

Keywords: Pinus palustris; competition; root growth; root systems

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Former Forester, Gulf States Paper Corporation, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Publication date: June 1, 1977

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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