Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 76, Issue 2, pp 275–281 | Cite as

Active root distribution pattern of Hevea brasiliensis determined by radioassay of latex serum

  • Sherin GeorgeEmail author
  • P. R. Suresh
  • P. A. Wahid
  • Ramesh B. Nair
  • K. I. Punnoose


The active root distribution pattern of mature rubber (Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg.) up to a lateral distance of 250 cm from the tree and to a soil depth of 90 cm was studied in an oxisol by employing 32P soil injection technique in Kerala, the state which accounts for 83% of rubber cultivation in India. The trees were aged 18 years and grown at a spacing of 4.9 × 4.9 m. The extent of absorption of applied 32P by the tree from various placements was assessed by radio assay of leaf and latex serum. Latex serum registered higher counts and variability was less compared to leaf indicating the suitability of latex serum as a potential source for radio assay for 32P studies in rubber. The results revealed that rubber is a surface feeder with 55% of the root activity confining to the top 10 cm of soil layer. Root activity declined with increasing depths and the concentration of physiologically active roots at 90 cm depth was only 6%. A more or less uniform distribution of root activity was noticed with respect to lateral distance indicating more extensive spread of lateral roots. Concentration of physiologically active roots in the surface layer suggests the possibility for competition under intercropped situation in mature plantations.


Hevea Root distribution 32P soil injection Root competition 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sherin George
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. R. Suresh
    • 2
  • P. A. Wahid
    • 2
  • Ramesh B. Nair
    • 1
  • K. I. Punnoose
    • 1
  1. 1.Rubber Research Institute of IndiaKottayamIndia
  2. 2.Kerala Agricultural UniversityTrichurIndia

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