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Article

Tree Willow Root Growth in Sediments Varying in Texture

1
Sustainable Production Group, The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited, Private Bag 11600, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
2
Institut de recherche en biologie végétale, Montreal, QC H1X 2B2, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(6), 517; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10060517
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 31 May 2019 / Accepted: 18 June 2019 / Published: 19 June 2019
We investigated the early root development of Salix nigra L. willow grown from cuttings in the different riverbank sediments; silt, sand and stones. Cuttings were grown for 10 weeks in layered sediment types in five large planter boxes, each box having three separate compartments. The boxes differed in the proportion of silt, sand and stones. At 10 weeks, the roots were extracted and sorted into diameter classes (≥2 mm; 1 < 2 mm; <1 mm) according to sediment type and depth. Root length and dry mass were measured and root length density (RLD) and root mass density (RMD) calculated. Root development of S. nigra cuttings varied with the substrate, either silt, sand or stones. Roots initiated from the entire length of the cutting in the substrate but with a concentration of initials located at the bottom and close to the bottom of the cutting. There was substantial root extension into all three substrates and at all depths. Generally, RMD was higher in the stones, influenced by having the bottom of the cuttings in stones for four of the five treatments. RMD was highest for roots <1 mm diameter. RMD of roots <1 mm diameter was least for those roots growing in sand. Whereas RLD for roots >0.5 mm diameter was highest in the sand, RLD of roots with diameter <0.5 mm was lowest in sand. Roots of S. nigra cuttings were least effective in binding sand, primarily because of low RLD of roots <0.5 mm diameter. It is surmised that sand lacks water and nutrients sufficient to sustain growth of fine roots compared with silt and even stones. RLD for roots >0.5 mm diameter was lowest in silt likely due to the greater resistance of the substrate to root penetration, or possibly the greater investment into smaller roots with absorption capability. View Full-Text
Keywords: coarse root; fine root; cutting; silt; sand; stone; Salix nigra L. coarse root; fine root; cutting; silt; sand; stone; Salix nigra L.
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MDPI and ACS Style

McIvor, I.; Desrochers, V. Tree Willow Root Growth in Sediments Varying in Texture. Forests 2019, 10, 517. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10060517

AMA Style

McIvor I, Desrochers V. Tree Willow Root Growth in Sediments Varying in Texture. Forests. 2019; 10(6):517. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10060517

Chicago/Turabian Style

McIvor, Ian; Desrochers, Valérie. 2019. "Tree Willow Root Growth in Sediments Varying in Texture" Forests 10, no. 6: 517. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10060517

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