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Ecological Importance of Root/Shoot Ratios

Carl Monk
Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club
Vol. 93, No. 6 (Nov. - Dec., 1966), pp. 402-406
Published by: Torrey Botanical Society
DOI: 10.2307/2483412
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2483412
Page Count: 5
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Ecological Importance of Root/Shoot Ratios
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Abstract

Specimens from 15 species (9 herbaceous and 6 woody) common to the south-eastern coastal plain were excavated. The following weight relationships were determined by regression analysis using the method of least squares: root and shoot, shoot and height, root and height (log Y and log X respectively). In general, the mean root/shoot ratio increased from annuals, to herbaceous perennials, to woody perennials. Biennials and loblolly pine root/shoot ratios overlapped with herbaceous perennials. These data suggested that old field succession can be explained in part through an increase in root competition that must accompany the increase in root/shoot ratios of successive dominants. The dry weights of roots and shoots was found to be significantly correlated with height. It was suggested that this mathematical relationship may be used to modify present sampling techniques employed in standing crop, root production and mineral cycle studies.

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