Plant and Soil

, 319:15 | Cite as

Limiting factors in the detection of tree roots using ground-penetrating radar

  • Yasuhiro Hirano
  • Masako Dannoura
  • Kenji Aono
  • Tetsurou Igarashi
  • Masahiro Ishii
  • Keitarou Yamase
  • Naoki Makita
  • Yoichi Kanazawa
Regular Article

Abstract

It has been reported that ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is a nondestructive tool that can be used to detect coarse roots in forest soils. However, successful GPR application for root detection has been site-specific and numerous factors can interfere with the resolution of the roots. We evaluated the effects of root diameter, root volumetric water content, and vertical and horizontal intervals between roots on the root detection of Cryptomeria japonica in sand using 900-MHz GPR. We found that roots greater than 19 mm in diameter were clearly detected. Roots having high volumetric water content were easily detected, but roots with less than 20% water content were not detected. Two roots that were located closely together were not individually distinguished. These results confirm that root diameter, root water content, and intervals between roots are important factors when using GPR for root detection and that these factors lead to an underestimation of root biomass.

Keywords

Coarse roots GPR Nondestructive root methods Root distribution Water content 

Abbreviations

GPR

ground-penetrating radar

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yasuhiro Hirano
    • 1
  • Masako Dannoura
    • 2
    • 5
  • Kenji Aono
    • 3
  • Tetsurou Igarashi
    • 3
  • Masahiro Ishii
    • 3
  • Keitarou Yamase
    • 4
  • Naoki Makita
    • 2
  • Yoichi Kanazawa
    • 2
  1. 1.Kansai Research CenterForestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI)KyotoJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Agricultural ScienceKobe UniversityKobeJapan
  3. 3.The General Environmental Technos Co., Ltd. (KANSO TECHNOS)OsakaJapan
  4. 4.Hyogo Prefectural Technology Center for Agriculture, Forestry and FisheriesShisoJapan
  5. 5.Graduate School of Agricultural ScienceKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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