Knowledge of root profiles is essential for measuring and predicting ecosystem dynamics and function. In the present study, the effects of management practices on root (0.5 a parts per thousand currency sign o < 20 mm) spatial distribution were examined in a 40-year-old coppice stand (CpS 1968) and other two stands converted from coppice to thinned high forest in 1994 (CvS 1994) and 2004 (CvS 2004), respectively. The use of a semi-automatic digitising device approach was compared with a conventional root mapping method in order to estimate the time per person required from fieldwork to the final digital map. In July 2009, six trench walls per stand were established according to tree density, i.e. as equidistant as possible from all surrounding trees. Findings highlighted differences between the stands with CvS 1994 showing a lower number of small roots (2 a parts per thousand currency sign o < 5 mm), a higher mean cross-sectional area (CSA) of coarse roots (5 a parts per thousand currency sign o < 20 mm) and different root depth distribution as compared to CpS 1968 and CvS 2004 whose values were close to each other. The three diameter classes selected in this study showed significant relationships in terms of number of roots, scaling down from coarse- to small- and fine-roots. Forest management practices significantly affected only the number of small roots. The number of fine roots (0.5 a parts per thousand currency sign o < 2 mm) was isometrically related to their root length density (RLD, cm cm(-3)). No relationship occurred with RLD of very fine roots (o < 0.5 mm). In conclusion, forest management practices in terms of conversion thinnings significantly affected belowground biomass distribution of beech forest in space and time. In particular, frequency of coarse roots was related to the stand tree density, frequency of small roots was related to the cutting age. Size of coarse roots was related to tree density but only several years after felling. The allometric relationship occurring between fine- and small-roots highlighted how fine root number and RLD were only indirectly affected by forest management practices. These findings suggest that future investigations on the effect of forest thinning practices on fine-root traits like number, length and biomass several years after felling cannot ignore those on small roots.

Effect of tree density on root distribution in Fagus sylvatica stands: A semi-automatic digitising device approach to trench wall method

Terzaghi M.;
2013

Abstract

Knowledge of root profiles is essential for measuring and predicting ecosystem dynamics and function. In the present study, the effects of management practices on root (0.5 a parts per thousand currency sign o < 20 mm) spatial distribution were examined in a 40-year-old coppice stand (CpS 1968) and other two stands converted from coppice to thinned high forest in 1994 (CvS 1994) and 2004 (CvS 2004), respectively. The use of a semi-automatic digitising device approach was compared with a conventional root mapping method in order to estimate the time per person required from fieldwork to the final digital map. In July 2009, six trench walls per stand were established according to tree density, i.e. as equidistant as possible from all surrounding trees. Findings highlighted differences between the stands with CvS 1994 showing a lower number of small roots (2 a parts per thousand currency sign o < 5 mm), a higher mean cross-sectional area (CSA) of coarse roots (5 a parts per thousand currency sign o < 20 mm) and different root depth distribution as compared to CpS 1968 and CvS 2004 whose values were close to each other. The three diameter classes selected in this study showed significant relationships in terms of number of roots, scaling down from coarse- to small- and fine-roots. Forest management practices significantly affected only the number of small roots. The number of fine roots (0.5 a parts per thousand currency sign o < 2 mm) was isometrically related to their root length density (RLD, cm cm(-3)). No relationship occurred with RLD of very fine roots (o < 0.5 mm). In conclusion, forest management practices in terms of conversion thinnings significantly affected belowground biomass distribution of beech forest in space and time. In particular, frequency of coarse roots was related to the stand tree density, frequency of small roots was related to the cutting age. Size of coarse roots was related to tree density but only several years after felling. The allometric relationship occurring between fine- and small-roots highlighted how fine root number and RLD were only indirectly affected by forest management practices. These findings suggest that future investigations on the effect of forest thinning practices on fine-root traits like number, length and biomass several years after felling cannot ignore those on small roots.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4730107
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