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Open AccessArticle

Mechanical Characteristics of the Fine Roots of Two Broadleaved Tree Species from the Temperate Caspian Hyrcanian Ecoregion

1
Department of Forestry and Forest Economics, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, 31587-77871 Karaj, Iran
2
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL, Bern University of Applied Sciences, 3052 Zollikofen, Switzerland
3
Faculty of Natural Resources, Tarbiat Modares University, 46414-356 Noor, Iran
4
Rocky Mountain Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Moscow, ID 83843, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(3), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11030345
Received: 23 February 2020 / Revised: 14 March 2020 / Accepted: 17 March 2020 / Published: 20 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Root System to Environment)
In view of the important role played by roots against shallow landslides, root tensile force was evaluated for two widespread temperate tree species within the Caspian Hyrcanian Ecoregion, i.e., Fagus orientalis L. and Carpinus betulus L. Fine roots (0.02 to 7.99 mm) were collected from five trees of each species at three different elevations (400, 950, and 1350 m a.s.l.), across three diameter at breast height (DBH) classes (small = 7.5–32.5 cm, medium = 32.6–57.5 cm, and large =57.6–82.5 cm), and at two slope positions relative to the tree stem (up- and down-slope). In the laboratory, maximum tensile force (N) required to break the root was determined for 2016 roots (56 roots per each of two species x three sites x three DBH classes x two slope positions). ANCOVA was used to test the effects of slope position, DBH, and study site on root tensile force. To obtain the power-law regression coefficients, a nonlinear least square method was used. We found that: 1) root tensile force strongly depends on root size, 2) F. orientalis roots are stronger than C. betulus ones in the large DBH class, although they are weaker in the medium and small DBH classes, 3) root mechanical resistance is higher upslope than downslope, 4) roots of the trees with larger DBH were the most resistant roots in tension in compare with roots of the medium or small DBH classes, and 5) the root tensile force for both species is notably different from one site to another site. Overall, our findings provide a fundamental contribution to the quantification of the protective effects of forests in the temperate region. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioengineering; Carpinus betulus; Fagus orientalis; tensile force bioengineering; Carpinus betulus; Fagus orientalis; tensile force
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MDPI and ACS Style

Deljouei, A.; Abdi, E.; Schwarz, M.; Majnounian, B.; Sohrabi, H.; Dumroese, R.K. Mechanical Characteristics of the Fine Roots of Two Broadleaved Tree Species from the Temperate Caspian Hyrcanian Ecoregion. Forests 2020, 11, 345.

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