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Root System Structure in Planted and Seeded Loblolly and Shortleaf Pine

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Differences in root system structure attributable to stand origin were examined by pairing seeded and planted stands of loblolly (Pinus taeda L.) and shortleaf pine (P. echinata Mill.). The 17 paired stands were 3 to 9 years old and located in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas on similar soil and site conditions. Root systems from 12 trees were excavated from each stand, classified by root system type and measured for number and size of first-order lateral roots and amount of root spiraling and bending. Although root systems of planted trees were commonly deformed, the most consistent difference in root system structure between planted and seeded trees was the increased distance from groundline to the uppermost lateral roots on planted seedlings. A linear discriminant function including this variable correctly classified all loblolly pine plots and 89% of the shortleaf pine plots as to whether the plot had been planted or seeded. Planted trees also had fewer first-order lateral roots less than 10 mm in diameter and exhibited greater spiraling and bending of major first-order laterals than seeded trees. Differences in root system structure between planted and seeded trees were similar for the two species. For. Sci. 35(2):469-480.

Keywords: Pinus echinata; Pinus taeda; root system morphology

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Tree Physiologist, Southern Forestry Research Department, Weyerhaeuser Company, Hot Springs, AR 71902

Publication date: 1989-06-01

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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