Section 5
Chapter 4,992

Compaction of sandy soils in radiata pine pinus radiata forests 2. effects of compaction on root configuration and growth of radiata pine seedlings

Sands, R.; Bowen, G.D.

Australian Forest Research 8(3-4): 163-170


Accession: 004991031

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Radiata pine (P. radiata D. Don) was sown in pots packed with Mt Burr Sand [Southern Australia] to mean soil bulk densities of 1.35, 1.48 and 1.60 g/cm3. At harvest (151 days after sowing), there were significant differences between bulk density treatments in the fresh and dry weight of roots and tops, root volume and top height in the order 1.35 > 1.48 > 1.60 g/cm3. Dry weights at 1.60 were almost one half of those at 1.35 g/cm3. Soil compaction caused decreases in the length of the main root axis, 1st and 2nd order lateral roots, and total root length, but caused increases in the number of 1st order laterals and in the diameter of 1st order laterals and the main axis. Seedling growth was not limited by water availability or aeration at any bulk density, and differences in root penetration were related to differences in soil strength. The degree of compaction observed in these soils in the field [forest plantation] would be sufficient to have an adverse effect on root penetration and thereby seedling growth.

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