Advertisement

Plant and Soil

, Volume 391, Issue 1–2, pp 219–235 | Cite as

Competition with winter crops induces deeper rooting of walnut trees in a Mediterranean alley cropping agroforestry system

  • Rémi Cardinael
  • Zhun Mao
  • Iván Prieto
  • Alexia Stokes
  • Christian Dupraz
  • John H. Kim
  • Christophe JourdanEmail author
Regular Article

Abstract

Background and aims

Characterising the spatial distribution of tree fine roots (diameter ≤ 2 mm) is fundamental for a better understanding of belowground functioning when tree are grown with associated crops in agroforestry systems. Our aim was to compare fine root distributions and orientations in trees grown in an alley cropping agroforestry stand with those in a tree monoculture.

Methods

Fieldwork was conducted in two adjacent 17 year old hybrid walnut (Juglans regia × nigra L.) stands in southern France: the agroforestry stand was intercropped with durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. subsp. durum) whereas the tree monoculture had a natural understorey. Root intercepts were mapped to a depth of 150 cm on trench walls in both stands, and to a depth of 400 cm in the agroforestry stand in order to characterise tree root distribution below the crop’s maximum rooting depth. Soil cubes were then extracted to assess three dimensional root orientation and to establish a predictive model of root length densities (RLD) derived from root intersection densities (RID).

Results

In the tree monoculture, root mapping demonstrated a very high tree RID in the top 50 cm and a slight decrease in RID with increasing soil depth. However, in the agroforestry stand, RID was significantly lower at 50 cm, tree roots colonized deeper soil layers and were more vertically oriented. In the agroforestry stand, RID and RLD were greater within the tree row than in the inter-row.

Conclusions

Fine roots of intercropped walnut trees grew significantly deeper, indicating a strong plasticity in root distribution. This plasticity reduced direct root competition from the crop, enabling trees to access deeper water tables not available to crop roots.

Keywords

Deep roots Intercropping Fine roots Juglans sp Root anisotropy Root intersection density Root length density Root mapping Specific root length 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was financed by the French ANR funded project ECOSFIX (Ecosystem Services of Roots - Hydraulic Redistribution, Carbon Sequestration and Soil Fixation, ANR-2010-STRA-003-01), and by the ADEME funded project AGRIPSOL. We thank the farmer Mr Breton, for his authorization to sample roots and open pits. We are very grateful to our French colleagues for their help with field and laboratory work and logistics, including Jean-François Bourdoncle (INRA), Lydie Dufour (INRA), Clément Enard (INRA), Alain Sellier (INRA), and the students (Jordan Chauliaguet, Hugo Fontenille, James Metayer, Floriane Schmith, Aurélien Schüller).

Supplementary material

11104_2015_2422_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
ESM1 (DOC 17 KB)
11104_2015_2422_MOESM2_ESM.zip (3.1 mb)
Figure S1 a) Raw data of walnut fine root intersection densities (RID) within the pit in the tree monoculture. DTR = Distance to the tree row. b) Raw data of walnut fine root intersection densities (RID) within the agroforestry pit. DTR = Distance to the tree row. c) Raw data of the walnut fine root intersection densities (RID) within the 400 cm deep agroforestry pit. DTR = Distance to the tree row. (ZIP 3170 KB)
11104_2015_2422_MOESM3_ESM.jpg (3.5 mb)
Figure S2 Linear regressions between walnut fine root length density (RLD) and the mean fine root intersection density (RID) for cubes, for the different pits. Dotted lines: confidence interval of the regression line. (JPEG 3541 KB)
11104_2015_2422_MOESM4_ESM.zip (3.7 mb)
Figure S3 a) Estimated walnut fine root length density (RLD) profiles in the agroforestry and in the tree monoculture to a depth of 150 cm. For the agroforestry stand, profiles from the AF and deep-AF pits were combined for values to a depth of 150 cm. b) Estimated walnut fine root length density (RLD) profiles in the agroforestry stand to a depth of 400 cm as a function of distance to the tree row. (ZIP 3821 KB)

References

  1. Andrade JM, Estévez-Pérez MG (2014) Statistical comparison of the slopes of two regression lines: a tutorial. Anal Chim Acta 838:1–12CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Balesdent J, Chenu C, Balabane M (2000) Relationship of soil organic matter dynamics to physical protection and tillage. Soil Tillage Res 53:215–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bambrick AD, Whalen JK, Bradley RL, Cogliastro A, Gordon AM, Olivier A, Thevathasan NV (2010) Spatial heterogeneity of soil organic carbon in tree-based intercropping systems in Quebec and Ontario, Canada. Agrofor Syst 79:343–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bergeron M, Lacombe S, Bradley RL, Whalen J, Cogliastro A, Jutras MF, Arp P (2011) Reduced soil nutrient leaching following the establishment of tree-based intercropping systems in eastern Canada. Agrofor Syst 83:321–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bleby TM, McElrone AJ, Jackson RB (2010) Water uptake and hydraulic redistribution across large woody root systems to 20 m depth. Plant Cell Environ 33:2132–2148CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bonser AM, Lynch J, Snapp S (1996) Effect of phosphorus deficiency on growth angle of basal roots in Phaseolus vulgaris. New Phytol 132:281–288CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Bréda N, Granier A, Barataud F, Moyne C (1995) Soil water dynamics in an oak stand I. Soil moisture, water potentials and water uptake by roots. Plant Soil 172:17–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bréda N, Huc R, Granier A, Dreyer E (2006) Temperate forest trees and stands under severe drought: a review of ecophysiological responses, adaptation processes and long-term consequences. Ann For Sci 63:625–644CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Burgess PJ, Incoll LD, Corry DT, Beaton A, Hart BJ (2004) Poplar (Populus spp) growth and crop yields in a silvoarable experiment at three lowland sites in England. Agrofor Syst 63:157–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cadisch G, Rowe E, van Noordwijk M (1997) Nutrient harvesting - the tree-root safety net. Agrofor Forum 8:31–33Google Scholar
  11. Cardinael R, Chevallier T, Barthès BG, Saby NPA, Parent T, Dupraz C, Bernoux M, Chenu C (submitted) Impact of agroforestry on stocks, forms and spatial distribution of soil organic carbonGoogle Scholar
  12. Casper BB, Jackson RB (1997) Plant competition underground. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 28:545–570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cassab GI, Eapen D, Campos ME (2013) Root hydrotropism: an update. Am J Bot 100:14–24CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Chen X, Hu Q (2004) Groundwater influences on soil moisture and surface evaporation. J Hydrol 297:285–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chopart J-L, Siband P (1999) Development and validation of a model to describe root length density of maize from root counts on soil profiles. Plant Soil 214:61–74Google Scholar
  16. Chopart J-L, Rodrigues SR, de Azevedo MC, de Conti MC (2008) Estimating sugarcane root length density through root mapping and orientation modelling. Plant Soil 313:101–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Christina M, Laclau J-P, Gonçalves JLM, Jourdan C, Nouvellon Y, Bouillet J-P (2011) Almost symmetrical vertical growth rates above and below ground in one of the world’s most productive forests. Ecosphere 2:art27Google Scholar
  18. Desrochers A, Landhäusser SM, Lieffers VJ (2002) Coarse and fine root respiration in aspen (Populus tremuloides). Tree Physiol 22:725–732CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. R Development Core Team (2013) R: a language and environment for statistical computingGoogle Scholar
  20. Dupraz C, Liagre F (2008) Agroforesterie: des arbres et des cultures. France Agr:413Google Scholar
  21. Dupraz C, Fournier C, Balvay Y, Dauzat M, Pesteur S, Simorte V (1999) Influence de quatre années de culture intercalaire de blé et de colza sur la croissance de noyers hybrides en agroforesterie. Bois Forêts Des Agric:95–114Google Scholar
  22. Fernández ME, Gyenge J, Licata J, Schlichter T, Bond BJ (2008) Belowground interactions for water between trees and grasses in a temperate semiarid agroforestry system. Agrofor Syst 74:185–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gamma Design Software (2004) Geostatistics for the environmental sciencesGoogle Scholar
  24. Gao Y, Duan A, Qiu X, Liu Z, Sun J, Zhang J, Wang H (2010) Distribution of roots and root length density in a maize/soybean strip intercropping system. Agric Water Manag 98:199–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gregory P (2006) Plant roots: growth, Activity and Interactions with soils. 318pGoogle Scholar
  26. Haase P, Pugnaire FI, Fernandez EM, Puigdefabregas J, Clark SC, Incoll LD (1996) An investigation of rooting depth of the semiarid shrub Retama sphaerocarpa (L.) Boiss. by labelling of ground water with a chemical tracer. J Hydrol 177:23–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Haile SG, Nair VD, Nair PKR (2010) Contribution of trees to carbon storage in soils of silvopastoral systems in Florida, USA. Glob Chang Biol 16:427–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hartmann P, Von Wilpert K (2014) Fine-root distributions of Central European forest soils and their interaction with site and soil properties. Can J For Res 44:71–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hinsinger P (2001) Bioavailability of soil inorganic P in the rhizosphere as affected by root-induced chemical changes: a review. Plant Soil 237:173–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ho MD, McCannon BC, Lynch JP (2004) Optimization modeling of plant root architecture for water and phosphorus acquisition. J Theor Biol 226:331–340CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Hobbie SE, Oleksyn J, Eissenstat DM, Reich PB (2010) Fine root decomposition rates do not mirror those of leaf litter among temperate tree species. Oecologia 162:505–513CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Hoffmann CW, Usoltsev VA (2001) Modelling root biomass distribution in Pinus sylvestris forests of the Turgai depression of Kazakhstan. For Ecol Manage 149:103–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Howlett DS, Moreno G, Mosquera Losada MR, Nair PKR, Nair VD (2011) Soil carbon storage as influenced by tree cover in the Dehesa cork oak silvopasture of central-western Spain. J Environ Monit 13:1897–1904CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Hubble TCT, Docker BB, Rutherfurd ID (2010) The role of riparian trees in maintaining riverbank stability: a review of Australian experience and practice. Ecol Eng 36:292–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. IUSS Working Group WRB (2007) World reference base for soil resources 2006, first update 2007. World Soil Resources Reports No. 103. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  36. Jackson RB, Canadell J, Ehleringer JR, Mooney HA, Sala OE, Schulze ED (1996) A global analysis of root distributions for terrestrial biomes. Oecologia 108:389–411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Jobbagy EG, Jackson RB (2000) The vertical distribution of soil organic carbon and its relation to climate and vegetation. Ecol Appl 10:423–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Joslin JD, Wolfe MH (1999) Disturbances during minirhizotron installation can affect root observation data. Soil Soc Am J 63:218–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Korwar G, Radder G (1994) Influence of root pruning and cutting interval of Leucaena hedgerows on performance of alley cropped rabi sorghum. Agrofor Syst 25:95–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kuzyakov Y, Domanski G (2000) Carbon input by plants into the soil. Review. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 163:421–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Laclau J-P, da Silva EA, Rodrigues Lambais G, Bernoux M, le Maire G, Stape JL, Bouillet J-P, de Moraes Gonçalves JL, Jourdan C, Nouvellon Y (2013) Dynamics of soil exploration by fine roots down to a depth of 10 m throughout the entire rotation in Eucalyptus grandis plantations. Front Plant Sci 4:243Google Scholar
  42. Lang ARG, Melhuish FM (1970) Lengths and diameters of plant roots in non-random populations by analysis of plane surfaces. Biometrics 26:421–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Li L, Sun J, Zhang F, Li X, Yang S, Rengel Z (2001) Wheat/maize or wheat/soybean strip intercropping I. Yield advantage and interspecic interactions on nutrients. F Crop Res 71:123–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Li L, Sun J, Zhang F, Guo T, Bao X, Smith FA, Smith SE (2006) Root distribution and interactions between intercropped species. Oecologia 147:280–290CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Livesley SJ, Gregory PJ, Buresh RJ (2000) Competition in tree row agroforestry systems. 1. Distribution and dynamics of fine root length and biomass. Plant Soil 227:149–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. López B, Sabaté S, Gracia CA (2001) Vertical distribution of fine root density, length density, area index and mean diameter in a Quercus ilex forest. Tree Physiol 21:555–560CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Lorenz K, Lal R (2014) Soil organic carbon sequestration in agroforestry systems. A review. Agron Sustain Dev 34:443–454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Maeght J-L, Rewald B, Pierret A (2013) How to study deep roots-and why it matters. Front Plant Sci 4:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Markesteijn L, Poorter L (2009) Seedling root morphology and biomass allocation of 62 tropical tree species in relation to drought- and shade-tolerance. J Ecol 97:311–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Marsden C, Nouvellon Y, Epron D (2008) Relating coarse root respiration to root diameter in clonal Eucalyptus stands in the Republic of the Congo. Tree Physiol 28:1245–1254CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Maurice J, Laclau J-P, Re DS, de Moraes Gonçalves JL, Nouvellon Y, Bouillet J-P, Stape JL, Ranger J, Behling M, Chopart J-L (2010) Fine root isotopy in Eucalyptus grandis plantations. Towards the prediction of root length densities from root counts on trench walls. Plant Soil 334:261–275Google Scholar
  52. Moreno G, Obrador JJ, Cubera E, Dupraz C (2005) Fine root distribution in Dehesas of central-western Spain. Plant Soil 277:153–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Mulia R, Dupraz C (2006) Unusual fine root distributions of two deciduous tree species in southern France: What consequences for modelling of tree root dynamics? Plant Soil 281:71–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Nair PKR, Nair VD, Kumar BM, Showalter JM (2010) Carbon sequestration in agroforestry systems. Adv Agron:237–307Google Scholar
  55. Newman GS, Hart SC (2006) Nutrient covariance between forest foliage and fine roots. For Ecol Manage 236:136–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Neykova N, Obando J, Schneider R, Shisanya C, Thiele-Bruhn S, Thomas FM (2011) Vertical root distribution in single-crop and intercropping agricultural systems in Central Kenya. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 174:742–749CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Nobel PS, Alm DM (1993) Root orientation vs water uptake simulated for monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous desert succulents by a root-segment model. Funct Ecol 7:600–609CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Norby RJ, O’Neill EG, Hood WG, Luxmoore RJ (1987) Carbon allocation, root exudation and mycorrhizal colonization of Pinus echinata seedlings grown under CO2 enrichment. Tree Physiol 3:203–210CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Ozier-Lafontaine H, Lafolie F, Bruckler L, Tournebize R, Mollier A (1998) Modelling competition for water in intercrops: theory and comparison with field experiments. Plant Soil 204:183–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Prieto I, Armas C, Pugnaire FI (2012) Water release through plant roots: new insights into its consequences at the plant and ecosystem level. New Phytol 193:830–841CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Prieto I, Roumet C, Cardinael R, Dupraz C, Jourdan C, Kim JH, Maeght JL, Mao Z, Pierret A, Portillo N, Roupsard O, Thammahacksa C, Stokes A (2014) Root community traits along a land use gradient: evidence of a community-level economics spectrum. J EcolGoogle Scholar
  62. Qian SS (2009) Environmental and ecological statistics with R. 440pGoogle Scholar
  63. Qian SS, Cuffney TF (2012) To threshold or not to threshold? That’s the question. Ecol Indic 15:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Quinkenstein A, Wöllecke J, Böhm C, Grünewald H, Freese D, Schneider BU, Hüttl RF (2009) Ecological benefits of the alley cropping agroforestry system in sensitive regions of Europe. Environ Sci Pol 12:1112–1121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Rambal S (1984) Water balance and pattern of root water uptake by a Quercus coccifera L. evergreen scrub. Oecologia 62:18–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Rasse DP, Rumpel C, Dignac MF (2005) Is soil carbon mostly root carbon? Mechanisms for a specific stabilisation. Plant Soil 269:341–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Rowe EC, Hairiah K, Giller KE, Van Noordwijk M, Cadish G (1999) Testing the safety-net role of hedgerow tree roots by 15N placement at different soil depths. Agrofor Syst 43:81–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Saint-André L, M’Bou AT, Mabiala A, Mouvondy W, Jourdan C, Roupsard O, Deleporte P, Hamel O, Nouvellon Y (2005) Age-related equations for above- and below-ground biomass of a Eucalyptus hybrid in Congo. For Ecol Manage 205:199–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Schroth G (1995) Tree root characteristics as criteria for species selection and systems design in agroforestry. Agrofor Syst 30:125–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Sinclair FL (1995) Agroforestry: science, policy and practice. 287pGoogle Scholar
  71. Steinaker DF, Wilson SD (2008) Phenology of fine roots and leaves in forest and grassland. J Ecol 96:1222–1229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Stokes A, Atger C, Bengough AG, Fourcaud T, Sidle RC (2009) Desirable plant root traits for protecting natural and engineered slopes against landslides. Plant Soil 324:1–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Torquebiau EF (2000) A renewed perspective on agroforestry concepts and classification. Life Sci 323:1009–1017Google Scholar
  74. Trumbore SE, Gaudinski JB (2003) The secret lives of roots. Science 302:1344–1345CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  75. Tully KL, Lawrence D, Scanlon TM (2012) More trees less loss: nitrogen leaching losses decrease with increasing biomass in coffee agroforests. Agric Ecosyst Environ 161:137–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Upson MA, Burgess PJ (2013) Soil organic carbon and root distribution in a temperate arable agroforestry system. Plant Soil 373:43–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Van Noordwijk M, Lawson G, Soumaré A, Groot JJR, Hairiah K (1996) Root distribution of trees and crops: competition and/or complementary. Tree-crops interact. A physiol. Approach. CAB-International, Wallingford, pp 319–364Google Scholar
  78. Van Noordwijk M, Brouwer G, Meijboom F, Oliveira MRG, Bengough AG (2000) Trench profile techniques and core break methods. In: Smit AL, Bengough AG, Engels C, Van Noordwijk M, Pellerin S, Van Geijn SC (eds) Root methods. Springer, Nerlin, pp 212–233Google Scholar
  79. Wang BJ, Zhang W, Ahanbieke P, Gan YW, Xu WL, Li LH, Christie P, Li L (2014) Interspecific interactions alter root length density, root diameter and specific root length in jujube/wheat agroforestry systems. Agrofor Syst 88:835–850CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Webster R, Oliver MA (2007) Geostatistics for environmental scientists:1–332Google Scholar
  81. Yuan ZY, Chen H (2010) Fine root biomass, production, turnover rates, and nutrient contents in boreal forest ecosystems in relation to species, climate, fertility, and stand age: literature review and meta-analyses. CRC Crit Rev Plant Sci 29:204–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Zianis D, Muukkonen P, Mäkipää R, Mencuccini M (2005) Biomass and stem volume equations for tree species in Europe. 63pGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rémi Cardinael
    • 1
    • 6
  • Zhun Mao
    • 2
    • 7
  • Iván Prieto
    • 3
  • Alexia Stokes
    • 4
  • Christian Dupraz
    • 1
  • John H. Kim
    • 4
    • 8
  • Christophe Jourdan
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.INRA, UMR SystemMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.IRSTEA, Unité Ecosystèmes Montagnards, Centre de GrenobleSaint-Martin-d’HèresFrance
  3. 3.CNRS, CEFE UMR 5175Université de Montpellier – Université Paul Valéry – EPHEMontpellier Cedex 5France
  4. 4.INRA, UMR AMAPMontpellier Cedex 5France
  5. 5.CIRAD, UMR Eco&SolsMontpellierFrance
  6. 6.IRD, UMR Eco&SolsMontpellierFrance
  7. 7.Université Grenoble AlpesGrenobleFrance
  8. 8.Max Planck Institute of BiogeochemistryJenaGermany

Personalised recommendations