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Vertical root distribution in relation to soil properties in New Jersey Pinelands forests
U.M. SAINJU and R.E. GOOD
Plant and Soil
Vol. 150, No. 1 (March (I) 1993), pp. 87-97
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42938853
Page Count: 11
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Vertical distribution of root density (length per unit soil volume) and abundance (length per unit ground surface area) to a depth of 1.5 m or to the depth of the water table and their relationships with soil properties and tree basal area were examined in 36 soil profiles of pine-oak and oak-pine forests of the New Jersey Pinelands. Soil morphology were almost uniform within the forest type and characterized by the presence of high coarse fragment contents in the C horizon in oak-pine uplands; by the spodic B horizon and water table in the C horizon in pine-oak lowlands; by the sandy soil throughout the profile in pine-oak uplands; and by the firm argillic B horizon in pine-oak plains. Root density decreased from ranges of 44423-133369 m m⁻³ in the 0-5cm depth in all the forest types to 1900-5593mm⁻³ in the 100-150 cm depth in all the forest types except in pine-oak lowlands. Total profile root density and abundance was in the order: oak-pine uplands > pine-oak lowlands > pine-oak uplands > pine-oak plains. Root density correlated positively with organic C, total N, water soluble P, exchangeable Ca, Mg, K, Al, Fe, and cation exchange capacity, and negatively with bulk density, coarse fraction content, and pH, whereas root abundance correlated positively with organic C, total N, water soluble P, exchangeable Ca, Mg, K, and Fe, and negatively with bulk density. No correlation existed between root density and abundance with tree basal area. Higher root density in the E horizon of oak-pine uplands as compared to the other forest types was associated with high nutrient content; higher root density in the C horizon of pine-oak lowlands was associated with a shallow water table beneath the horizon; and lower root densities in the B and C horizons of pine-oak plains were associated with the presence of a firm clay layer in the B horizon.
Plant and Soil © 1993 Springer