Quantifying Shallow Roots Tree Geometry Makes Root Research Easy.

TitleQuantifying Shallow Roots Tree Geometry Makes Root Research Easy.
Publication TypeMagazine Article
Year of Publication1995
Authorsvan Noordwijk, M.; Spek, L.Y.; Purnomosidhi, P.
MagazineAgroforestry Today
Issue Number7
Call NumberMA0006-04
Keywordsagroforestry-systems, equations, mathematical-models, methodology, multipurpose-trees, plant-competition, research, root-systems
AbstractA new method being developed for root research is described based on a fractal model. An equation was developed to derive the relation between total size of the root system and diameter of the proximal roots for 2 extreme branching patterns - dichotomous and herringbone. The protocol uses proximal root diameters and stem diameter at breast height to provide a tentative index of shallow rootedness (root competitiveness), tests for the fractal characteristics of root branching, and measurements of model parameters (internode lengths as a function of root diameter and the proportionality factor (alpha) between total cross-sectional surface areas, before and after branching). Preliminary tests of the method were done on 18 multipurpose trees on an acid ultisol in northern Lampung, Indonesia (mostly in a home garden, and about 6 yr old). Root data are given for these. The method is relevant to the study of competition between trees and crops in agroforestry systems.