, Volume 249, Issue 2, pp 445–455 | Cite as

Reconstruction of root systems in Cryptomeria japonica using root point coordinates and diameters

  • Mizue OhashiEmail author
  • Hidetoshi Ikeno
  • Kotaro Sekihara
  • Toko Tanikawa
  • Masako Dannoura
  • Keitaro Yamase
  • Chikage Todo
  • Takahiro Tomita
  • Yasuhiro Hirano
Original Article


Main conclusion

We developed simple algorithms for reconstructing tree root system architecture using only the root point coordinate and diameter, which can be systematically obtained without digging up the root systems.

Root system architecture (RSA) is strongly related to various root functions of the tree. The aim of this study was to develop a three-dimensional (3D) RSA model using systematically obtained information on root locations and root diameters at the locations. We excavated root systems of Cryptomeria japonica and systematically obtained XYZ coordinates and root diameters using a 10-cm grid. We clarified the patterns of the root point connections and developed a reconstructed root system model. We found that the root diameters farther from the stump centre are smaller. Additionally, we found that the root lengths of the segments running between the base and the connected root point were smaller than those of other root segments, and the inner angle between the base and the stump and between the base and the connected root point was narrower than for the other pairs. The new RSA model developed according to these results had average accuracies of 0.64 and 0.80 for estimates of total volume and length, respectively. The developed model can estimate 3D RSA using only root point data, which can be obtained without digging up root systems. This suggests a wide applicability of this model in root function evaluation.


Branching point Cost function Diameter Root model RSA XYZ coordinates 



We appreciate H. Hagino, T. Chikaguchi, S. Narayama, H. Kurokawa, Y. Yamamoto (FFPRI), K. Okada, M. Takano (Nagoya Univ.), M. Hiraoka (Tokyo Univ. Agr. Tech.), Y. Shinohara (Kyushu Univ.), N. Makita, K. Tsuruta, and J. Tsuruta (Kyoto Univ.) for their field assistance and valuable comments on this study. This work was partially supported by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science KAKENHI (Grant numbers: 25252027, 18H02243).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PPTX 37 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (PPTX 1571 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (PPTX 1108 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Human Science and EnvironmentUniversity of HyogoHimejiJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Environmental StudiesNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  3. 3.Kansai Research CenterForestry and Forest Products Research InstituteKyotoJapan
  4. 4.Graduate School of Global Environmental StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  5. 5.Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  6. 6.Hyogo Prefectural Technology Center for Agriculture, Forestry and FisheriesShisoJapan
  7. 7.School of EngineeringUniversity of HyogoHimejiJapan

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