The location and amount of small roots m a forest soil are of interest, because the small roots afford an approximation of the water absorbing surfaces of trees. Small roots occur profusely in branches and mats from the main lateral roots and tend to concentrate in the upper soil horizons. Referred to as "Feeding" roots by many, small roots are the means of moisture and nutrient intake from the soil. It is of interest to evaluate the effect of soil properties upon the presence of small roots. The physical properties of the soil may possibly limit root growth through their effects on moisture conditions. Also, increasing age of forest stands might change physical characteristics of the soil and so influence moisture relations. The object of this study was to measure the amount of small roots in the surface soil of a developmental and successional series of loblolly pine and shortleaf pine. The increase in number of small roots in the surface soil with increasing age of stands may be a significant factor in the establishment and development of reproduction in forest stands. Also, invading species with shallow roots may, in some cases, be excluded for the same reason.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1953 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Scholtes, Wayne H.
"The Concentration of Forest Tree Roots in the Surface Zone of Some Piedmont Soils,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 60(1), 243-259.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol60/iss1/30