Skip to Main Content
Conifer root proliferation after 20 years of soil compactionAuthor(s): Matt D. Busse; Gary O. Fiddler; Carol J. Shestak
Source: Forest Science. 63(2): 147-150
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
Download Publication (613.0 KB)
DescriptionSoil compaction is known to limit plant growth by reducing soil macroporosity and restricting gas, water, and root movement. Recent evidence from study sites across the United States and Canada, however, suggests that tree growth is not universally affected by soil compaction from forest harvesting practices. Our observational study examined rooting patterns in mixed conifer plantations in the central Sierra Nevada of California to determine whether tree roots use continuous pathways or channels to overcome the physical restrictions of compacted soil. Replicate plots were established 20‐25 years earlier to compare compacted and uncompacted treatments after clearcut harvesting. Fine and lateral root counts were taken at multiple depths in soil trenches. Rooting was extensive in compacted plots despite consistently high soil strength values (~3 MPa). No differences in rooting patterns or in fine or lateral root numbers were detected between compaction treatments. The results indicated long-term tolerance by conifer roots to soil compaction without clear use of preferential channels or uncompacted zones.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationBusse, Matt D.; Fiddler, Gary O.; Shestak, Carol J. 2017. Conifer root proliferation after 20 years of soil compaction. Forest Science. 63(2): 147-150. https://doi.org/10.5849/FS-2016-053.
Keywordsroot elongation, soil bulk density, soil compaction, soil porosity, soil strength
- Hydrologic and erosion responses to compaction and added surface cover in post-fire logged areas: Isolating splash, interrill and rill erosion
- Effects of Soil Compaction and Organic Matter Removal on Morphology of Secondary Roots of Loblolly Pine
- Soil physical property changes at the North American long-term soil productivity study sites: 1 and 5 years after compaction
XML: View XML