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Open AccessArticle

Influence of Root Distribution on Preferential Flow in Deciduous and Coniferous Forest Soils

1
Key Laboratory of State Forestry Administration on Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Engineering Research Center of Soil and Water Conservation, Engineering Research Centre of Forestry Ecological Engineering, Ministry of Education, School of Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
2
Beijing Collaborative Innovation Center for Eco-Environmental Improvement with Forestry and Fruit Trees, Beijing 102206, China
3
Department of Water Resources Engineering & Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University, Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
4
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Alabama A&M University, Normal, AL 35762, USA
5
Jiyang College, Zhuji 311800, Zhejiang Province, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(11), 986; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110986
Received: 27 August 2019 / Revised: 29 September 2019 / Accepted: 1 November 2019 / Published: 5 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Management and Modeling in Forestry)
Root-induced channels are the primary controlling factors for rapid movement of water and solute in forest soils. To explore the effects of root distribution on preferential flow during rainfall events, deciduous (Quercus variabilis BI.) and coniferous forest (Platycladus orientalis (L.) Franco) sites were selected to conduct dual-tracer experiments (Brilliant Blue FCF and Bromide [Br]). Each plot (1.30 × 1.30 m) was divided into two subplots (0.65 × 1.30 m), and two rainfall simulations (40 mm, large rainfall and 70 mm, extreme rainfall) were conducted in these. Vertical soil profiles (1.00 m × 0.40 m) were excavated, and preferential flow path features were quantified based on digital image analysis. Root (fine and coarse) abundance and Br concentration were investigated for each soil profile. In deciduous forest, accumulated roots in the upper soil layer induce larger lateral preferential flow as compared to the coniferous forest soil during large rainfall events. Compared with deciduous forest, coniferous forest soil, with higher (horizontal and vertical) spatial variability of preferential flow paths, promotes higher percolation and solute leaching to deeper soil layers during extreme rainfall events. Fine roots, accounting for a larger proportion of total roots (compared to coarse roots), facilitate preferential flow in the 0–40 cm forest soil layer. Overall, our results indicate that the root distribution pattern of different tree species can exert diverse effects on preferential flow in forest soils. View Full-Text
Keywords: preferential flow; dual-tracer experiment; root distribution; solute leaching; tree species preferential flow; dual-tracer experiment; root distribution; solute leaching; tree species
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MDPI and ACS Style

Luo, Z.; Niu, J.; Xie, B.; Zhang, L.; Chen, X.; Berndtsson, R.; Du, J.; Ao, J.; Yang, L.; Zhu, S. Influence of Root Distribution on Preferential Flow in Deciduous and Coniferous Forest Soils. Forests 2019, 10, 986.

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