Soil Condition Affects Longleaf Pine Seedlings More Than Loblolly Pine Seedlings
Longleaf pine is being restored across the southern United States for several ecological and economic reasons, but scientists' understanding of longleaf pine's response to soil physical conditions is poor. On the contrary, their understanding of loblolly pine's root and shoot growth response to soil conditions is well established. Forest Service researchers compared loblolly and pine seedlings to see if their root systems functioned similarly. The amount of roots in a given volume of soil was about 35 percent greater in longleaf pine seedlings compared to loblolly pine seedlings. Roots decreased at about the same rate that soil compaction increased. Root growth decreased in both wet and dry soils, as we expected. This research indicates that young longleaf pine seedling root systems respond more negatively to extremes of soil physical conditions than loblolly pine, and compacted soils might need to be tilled for good root growth. This research also helps scientists know how much poor soil conditions affect longleaf and loblolly pine roots.
|Longleaf and loblolly pine seedlings respond differently to soil compaction, water content, and fertilization||(publication)|
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