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Root Growth of Black Walnut Trees Related to Soil Temperature, Soil Water Potential, and Leaf Water Potential

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The effects of soil temperature, soil water potential, and leaf water potential were evaluated on root length growth, number of growing roots, and suberization for three mature black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) trees in an oak-hickory forest in central Missouri. Rhizotrons were used to access the root systems. When only roots growing in wet soils were included, growth began at a soil temperature of 4°C and increased slowly to 13°C, with a more rapid increase above that. Growth rate peaked at 17° to 19°C and the number of growing roots peaked at 21°C, the highest temperature observed. When roots in dry soil were the only ones included in the analysis, root growth was low with a peak at 17°C. Root growth and number of growing roots decreased sharply as soil water potential decreased from 0 to -0.5 MPa, and approached zero as soil water potential went from -0.5 to -1.0 MPa. At low and high soil temperatures suberization rate was high, and at intermediate temperatures it was low. Suberization rate was low at high water potentials and increased as the soil dried. Forest Sci. 31:617-629.

Keywords: Juglans nigra; root growth; soil temperature; soil water potential; suberization

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195

Publication date: 1985-09-01

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.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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