Effects of soil compaction on seedling morphology, growth, and architecture of chestnut-leaved oak (Quercus castaneifolia)

Meghdad Jourgholami, Azadeh Khoramizadeh, Eric Zenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Soil compaction following traffic by heavy-timber harvesting machinery usually causes an increase in soil strength, that is a stress factor negatively affecting the growth of newly germinated seedlings. This study used a soil strength experiment carried out in a greenhouse to test the hypotheses that increasing soil strength would adversely affect seedling morphology and alter seedling architecture by changing biomass allocation patterns. We explored the effects of soil compaction in a loam to clay-loam textured soil with optimal conditions of water on a continuous scale (0.2-1.0 MPa penetration resistance) on growth responses of the deciduous Quercus castaneifolia (C.A.Mey). Both above- and below-ground seedling characteristics, including size and biomass, were negatively affected by soil compaction. At the highest intensity of compaction, size and growth were reduced by 50% compared to controls; negative effects were typically more severe on below-ground (i.e., the length and biomass of the root system) than on above-ground responses. Increasing soil strength did not change above- and below-ground biomass allocation patterns (i.e., root mass ratio, root:shoot ratio, specific root length), resulting in unchanged seedling architecture. Strong adverse effects were already evident in the low-intensity compaction treatment and no critical soil strength threshold was observed. We conclude that root and height growth in Q. castaneifolia seedlings is limited by any increase of soil strength, though no evidence for the disruption of a functional equilibrium between above- and below-ground plant portions was found up to soil strengths of 1.0 MPa, at least under optimal water supply.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalIForest
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

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soil strength
soil compaction
Castanea
Quercus
seedling
seedlings
biomass allocation
dry matter partitioning
compaction
timber harvesting
root-shoot ratio
belowground biomass
resistance to penetration
clay loam
biomass
root shoot ratio
chestnut
oak
effect
growth response

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

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title = "Effects of soil compaction on seedling morphology, growth, and architecture of chestnut-leaved oak (Quercus castaneifolia)",
abstract = "Soil compaction following traffic by heavy-timber harvesting machinery usually causes an increase in soil strength, that is a stress factor negatively affecting the growth of newly germinated seedlings. This study used a soil strength experiment carried out in a greenhouse to test the hypotheses that increasing soil strength would adversely affect seedling morphology and alter seedling architecture by changing biomass allocation patterns. We explored the effects of soil compaction in a loam to clay-loam textured soil with optimal conditions of water on a continuous scale (0.2-1.0 MPa penetration resistance) on growth responses of the deciduous Quercus castaneifolia (C.A.Mey). Both above- and below-ground seedling characteristics, including size and biomass, were negatively affected by soil compaction. At the highest intensity of compaction, size and growth were reduced by 50{\%} compared to controls; negative effects were typically more severe on below-ground (i.e., the length and biomass of the root system) than on above-ground responses. Increasing soil strength did not change above- and below-ground biomass allocation patterns (i.e., root mass ratio, root:shoot ratio, specific root length), resulting in unchanged seedling architecture. Strong adverse effects were already evident in the low-intensity compaction treatment and no critical soil strength threshold was observed. We conclude that root and height growth in Q. castaneifolia seedlings is limited by any increase of soil strength, though no evidence for the disruption of a functional equilibrium between above- and below-ground plant portions was found up to soil strengths of 1.0 MPa, at least under optimal water supply.",
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Effects of soil compaction on seedling morphology, growth, and architecture of chestnut-leaved oak (Quercus castaneifolia). / Jourgholami, Meghdad; Khoramizadeh, Azadeh; Zenner, Eric.

In: IForest, Vol. 10, No. 1, 01.02.2017, p. 145-153.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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