, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 77-82

Root system analysis of seedlings of seven tree species from a tropical dry forest in Mexico

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Root attributes of tree seedlings of seven species from the tropical deciduous forest along the Pacific Coast of Mexico are described using morphometirc root system analysis. Mean relative growth rate, root/shoot ratios, specific root length, root density, mean number of roots tips and root length/leaf area ratio were determined in seedlings grown for 35 days inside growth chambers. All the species had low relative growth rates, low root/shoot ratios and low root densities (<0.5 cm/cm3). The species associated with disturbed habitats, in contrast to the species characteristic of undisturbed areas, presented small seeds, a dichotomous root branching pattern and large specific root length. No relationship was found between seed size and mean relative growth rate among the species studied.