Root distribution, orientation and root length density modelling in Eucalyptus and evaluation of associated water use efficiency

Abstract

A mathematical model was used in this study to simulate the root architecture comprising of both structural and geometric components, to reproduce the morphogenetic behaviour of the commercially important Eucalyptus genotypic root distribution pattern over time. Profile trench wall method was used to map the root intersection density of six genotypes over a period of 2 years and subsequently root length density was modelled from the root impact data, along with actual measurements from soil cores. Clones of vegetative origin showed higher penetration and proliferation capacity than those of seedling origin. Eucalyptus tereticornis and Eucalyptus camaldulensis showed greater horizontal and vertical spread than reciprocal hybrids. A major portion of the root system was confined in the 0–0.3 m depth and all the genotypes showed decreasing root length density with increasing depth. The estimated depth at which 50% of the roots were concentrated varied between 10 and 30 cm. Water use efficiency of the plants showed a positive correlation with penetration capability thereby suggesting the possible reclamation strategies by identifying potentially deep-rooted genotypes. The modelled root distribution patterns from the present study could be incorporated into agroforestry systems for better tree-crop compatibility as well as for site-specific selection of genotypes.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  1. Adegbidi HG, Comerford NB, Jokela EJ, Barros NF (2004) Root development of young loblolly pine in spodosols in Southeast Georgia. Soil Sci Soc Am J 68:596–604

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Battaglia M, Sands P, White D, Mummery D (2004) CABALA: a linked carbon, water and nitrogen model of forest growth for silvicultural decision support. For Ecol Manag 193:251–282

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Berntson G, Farnsworth E, Bazzaz F (1995) Allocation, within and between organs, and the dynamics ofroot length changes in two birch species. Oecologia 101:439–447

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Böhm W (1976) In situ estimation of root length at natural soil profiles. J Agric Camb 87:365–368

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Bouillet JP, Laclau JP, Arnaud M, Thongo M’Bou A, Saint- André L, Jourdan C (2002) Changes with age in the spatial distribution of roots of Eucalyptus clone in Congo. Impact on water and nutrient uptake. For Ecol Manag 171:43–57

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Box JE (1996) Modern methods for root investigations. In: Waisel Y et al (eds) Plant roots the hidden half, 2nd edn. M. Dekker Publishers, New York, pp 193–237

    Google Scholar 

  7. Bragg PL, Govi G, Cannel RQ (1983) A comparison ofmethods including angled and vertical minirhizotrons, for studying root growth and distribution in a spring oat crop. Plant Soil 73:435–440

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Brouwers NC, Mercer J, Lyons T, Poot P, Veneklaas E, Hardy G (2012) Climate and landscape drivers of tree decline in a Mediterranean ecoregion. Ecol Evol 3:67–79

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Brouwers NC, Matusick G, RuthrofK Lyons T, Hardy G (2013) Landscape-scale assessment oftree crown dieback following extreme drought and heat in a Mediterranean eucalypt forest ecosystem. Landsc Ecol 28:69–80

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Chopart J, Rodrigues SR (2008) Estimating sugarcane RLD through root mapping and orientation modelling. Plant Soil 313:101–112. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-008-9683-4

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Chopart JL, Siband P (1999) Development and validation of a model to describe RLD of maize from root counts on soil profiles. Plant Soil 214:61–74

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Chopart JL, Payet N, Saint Macary H, Vauclin M (2007) Is maize root growth affected by pig slurry application on a tropical acid soil? Plant Root 1:75–84

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Davis AS, Jacobs DF (2005) Quantifying root system quality of nursery seedlings and relationship to outplanting performance. New Forest 30:295–311. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11056-005-7480-y

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. de Dorlodot S, Forster B, Pagès L, Price A, Tuberosa R, Draye X (2007) Root system architecture: opportunities and constraints for genetic improvement of crops. Trends Plant Sci 12(10):474–481. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tplants.2007.08.012

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Drew MC, Saker LR (1980) Assessment of a rapid method using soil cores for estimating the amount and distribution of croP roots in the field. Plant Soil 55:297–305

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. El-Lakany MH, Mohamed SY (1993) Root characteristics of four tree species as affected by irrigation systems. Alex J Agric Res 38:211–227

    Google Scholar 

  17. Escamilla JA, Comerford NB, Neary DG (1991) Soil core—break method to estimate pine root distribution. Soil Sci Soc Am J 55:1722–1726

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Fabiao A, Steen E, Madeira M (1987) Root mass in plantations of Eucalyptus globulus in Portugal in relation to soil characteristics. Arid Soil Res Rehabil 1:185–194

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Falkiner RA, Nambiar EKS, Polglase PJ, Theiveyanathan S, Stewart LG (2006) Root distribution of Eucalyptus grandis and Corymbia maculata in degraded saline soils of south-eastern Australia. Agrofor Syst 67(3):279–291. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-005-5258-z

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. FAO (2019) Global Soil Partnership. http://www.fao.org/global-soil-partnership/intergovernmental-technical-panel-soils/gsoc17-implementation/internationalnetworkblacksoils/more-on-black-soils/what-is-a-black-soil/en/. Accessed 19 November 2019

  21. Fitter AH (1994) Architecture and biomass allocation as components ofthe plastic response ofroot systems to soil heterogeneity. In: Caldwell MM, Pearcy RW (eds) Exploitation ofenvironmental heterogeneity by plants: ecophysiological processes above- and belowground. Academic, San Diego, pp 305–323

    Google Scholar 

  22. Grabarnik P, Pages L, Bengough A (1998) Geometrical properties of simulated maize root systems: consequences for length density and intersection density. Plant Soil 200:157–167

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Hamer JJ, Veneklaas EJ, Poot P, Mokany K, Renton M (2015) Shallow environmental gradients put inland species at risk: insights and implications from predicting future distributions of Eucalyptus species in South Western Australia. Austral Ecol. https://doi.org/10.1111/aec.12274

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Hamer JJ, Veneklaas EJ, Renton M, Poot P (2016) Links between soil texture and root architecture of Eucalyptus species may limit distribution ranges under future climates. Plant Soil 403(1–2):217–229. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-015-2559-5

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Hodge A (2004) The plastic plant: root responses to heterogeneous supplies ofnutrients. New Phytol 162:9–24

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Hooper RJ, Sivasithamparam K (2005) Characterization of dam- age and biotic factors associated with the decline of Eucalyptus wandoo in southwest Western Australia. Can J For Res 35:2589–2602

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Indian Meteorological Department (2013) Extremes of India

  28. Indian Meteorological Department (2015) Dehradun Climatological Table 2901–2000

  29. Kulkarni HD, Lal P (1995) Performance of Eucalyptus clones at ITC Bhadrachalam India. In: CRC-IUFRO conference on eucalyptus plantations improving fibre yield and quality, Hobart, 19–24 February 1995

  30. Lal P, Dogra AS, Sharma SC, Chahal GBS (2006) Evaluation of different clones of eucalyptus in Punjab. Indian For 132(11):1383–1390

    Google Scholar 

  31. Lang ARG, Melhuish FM (1970) Length and diameters ofplants root in non random populations by analysis of plane surface. Biometrics 26:42–431

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Lopez-Zamora I, Falcão N, Comerford NB, Barros NF (2002) Root isotropy and an evaluation of a method for measuring root distribution in soil trenches. For Ecol Manag 166:303–310

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Lynch J (1995) Root architecture and plant productivity. Plant Physiol 109(1):7–13. https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.109.1.7

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  34. Marriott FHC (1972) Buffon’s problem for non-random distribution. Biometrics 28:621–624

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Matusick G, Ruthrof K, Brouwers NC, Dell B, Hardy G (2013) Sudden forest canopy collapse corresponding with extreme drought and heat in a mediterranean-type eucalypt forest in southwestern Australia. Eur J For Res 132:1–14

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Maurice J, Laclau JP, Re DS, Gonçalves JLM, Nouvellon Y, Bouillet JP, Chopart JL (2010) Fine root isotropy in Eucalyptus grandis plantations. Towards the prediction of root length densities from root counts on trench walls. Plant Soil 334(1):261–275. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-010-0380-8

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Medlyn BE, Pepper DA, O’Grady AP, Keith H (2007) Linking leaf and tree water use with an individual-tree model. Tree Physiol 27:1687–1699

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Melhuish CFM, Lang ARJ (1968) Quantitative studies of fine roots in soil. I. Length and diameters of cotton roots in a clay-loam soil by analysis of surface-ground blocks of resin impregnated soil. Soil Sci 106:16–22

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Noordwijk V, Lawson G, Hairiah K, Wilson J (2015) Root distribution of trees and crops: competition and/or complementarity, Chapter 8. In: Ong CK, Black CR, Wilson J (eds) Tree-crop interactions: agroforestry in a changing climate, 2nd edn. CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp 221–257

    Google Scholar 

  40. Pierret A, Latchackak K, Chathanvongsa P, Sengtaheuanghoung O, Valentin C (2007) Interactions between root growth, slope and soil detachment depending on land use: a case study in a small mountain catchment of Northern Laos. Plant Soil 301:51–64

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Poot P, Lambers H (2003) Growth responses to waterlogging and drainage ofwoody Hakea (Proteaceae) seedlings, originating from contrasting habitats in south-western Australia. Plant Soil 253:57–70

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Poot P, Veneklaas E (2013) Species distribution and crown decline are associated with contrasting water relations in four common sympatric eucalypt species in southwestern Australia. Plant Soil 364:409–423

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Schiffers K, Tielbörger K, Tietjen B, Jeltsch F (2011) Root plasticity buffers competition among plants: theory meets experimental data. Ecology 92:610–620

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Schmid I, Kazda M (2002) Root distribution of Norway spruce in monospecific and mixed stands on different soils. For Ecol Manag 159(1–2):37–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1127(01)00708-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Schmid I, Kazda M (2005) Clustered root distribution in mature stands of Fagus sylvatica and Picea abies. Oecologia 144:25–31

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Tardieu F (1988) Analysis of the spatial variability of maize root density. I-Effect of wheel compaction on the spatial arrangement of roots. Plant Soil 107:259–266

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Taylor HM, Bohm W (1976) Use of acrilyc plastic as rhizotron windows. Agron J 68:693–694

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Templeton GF (2011) A two-step approach for transforming continuous variables to normal: implications and recommendations for IS research. In: Communications of the AIS, vol 28, Article 4

  49. Van Noordwijk M (1987) Methods of quantification of root distribution pattern and root dynamics in the field. In: 20th Colloq. Int. Potash Institute, Bern, pp 247–265

  50. Vepraskas MJ, Hoyt GD (1988) Comparison of the trench- profile and core methods for evaluating root distribution in tillage studies. Agron J 80:166–172

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Xu Z, Zhou G (2008) Responses of leaf stomatal density to water status and its relationship with photosynthesis in a grass. J Exp Bot 59(12):3317–3325. https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/ern185

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  52. Xu H, Li Y, Xu G, Zou T (2007) Ecophysiological response and morphological adjustment of two Central Asian desert shrubs towards variation in summer precipitation. Plant Cell Environ 30:399–409

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgement

We are deeply thankful to Forest Research Institute and DST-INSPIRE program for their financial support.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Santan Barthwal.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Saha, R., Ginwal, H.S., Chandra, G. et al. Root distribution, orientation and root length density modelling in Eucalyptus and evaluation of associated water use efficiency. New Forests 51, 1023–1037 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11056-020-09772-8

Download citation

Keywords

  • Root length density
  • Eucalyptus
  • Root distribution
  • Root architecture
  • Water use efficiency