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Using Fractal Geometry to Quantify Loblolly Pine Seedling Root System Architecture

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Fractal geometry is a simple method of quantifying and describing complex shapes often found in nature (Mandelbrot 1983). The spatial arrangement of pine seedling roots is complex and not easily quantified. In this paper we report on a method for quantifying seedling roots based on concepts of fractal geometry. Ten 1+0 bareroot seedlings of each of three grades of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) were obtained from two Virginia Department of Forestry nurseries. The fractal dimension (D) was estimated for seedling roots using a computer-based box-count method. The results show that pine seedling roots have a fractal dimension, and the fractal dimension is highly correlated with root morphological traits. We propose that fractal geometry may be a new and efficient method to describe tree seedling root morphology. South. J. Appl. For. 17(3):130-134.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: School of Forestry and Wildlife Resources, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061-0324

Publication date: 01 August 1993

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