Original Paper

Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 60-62

A method of processing soil core samples for root studies by subsampling

  • Götz SchrothAffiliated withInstitut für Bodenkunde, Universität Bayreuth
  • , Dorothee KolbeAffiliated withInstitut für Bodenkunde, Universität Bayreuth

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Abstract

Root studies are generally believed to be very important in ecological research. Soil coring is a valuable approach to root research, but it requires a very large amount of processing time. We present here a method for processing soil cores consisting of the combination and homogenization of several soil cores from a plot, with subsequent subsampling for root extraction. The required subsample size was determined for a topsoil and a subsoil sample from a groundnut field and was found to be 5–10% of the total soil sample. Advantages and limitations of the method are discussed.

Key words

Root biomass Root extraction Root length Sample homogenization Soil coring