Influence of wind loading on root system development and architecture in oak (Quercus robur L.) seedlings

Tamasi Elisabetta, Stokes Alexia, Lasserre Bruno, Danjon Frédéric, Berthier Stéphane, Fourcaud Thierry, Chiatante Donato. 2005. Influence of wind loading on root system development and architecture in oak (Quercus robur L.) seedlings. Trees, 19 : pp. 374-384.

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Abstract : The effect of wind loading on seedlings of English oak (Quercus robur L.) was investigated. Instead of using a traditional wind tunnel, an innovative ventilation system was designed. This device was set up in the field and composed of a rotating arm supporting an electrical fan, which emitted an air current similar to that of wind loading. Oaks were sown from seed in a circle around the device. A block of control plants was situated nearby, and was not subjected to artificial wind loading. After 7 months, 16 plants from each treatment were excavated, and root architecture and morphological characteristics measured using a 3D digitiser. The resulting geometrical and topological data were then analysed using AMAPmod software. Results showed that total lateral root number and length in wind stressed plants were over two times greater than that in control trees. However, total lateral root volume did not differ significantly between treatments. In comparing lateral root characters between the two populations, it was found that mean root length, diameter and volume were similar between the two treatments. In trees subjected to wind loading, an accentuated asymmetry of root distribution and mean root length was found between the windward and leeward sides of the root system, with windward roots being significantly more numerous and longer than leeward roots. However, no differences were found when the two sectors perpendicular to the wind direction were compared. Mean tap root length was significantly higher in control samples compared to wind stressed plants, whilst mean diameter was greater in the latter. Wind loading appears to result in increased growth of lateral roots at the expense of the tap root. Development of the lateral root system may therefore ensure better anchorage of young trees subjected to wind loading under certain conditions. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Quercus robur, Plantule, Port de la plante, Résistance au vent, Propriété mécanique, Système racinaire, Anatomie végétale, Morphogénèse, Croissance

Mots-clés complémentaires : Architecture des arbres

Classification Agris : H50 - Miscellaneous plant disorders
F50 - Plant structure
F62 - Plant physiology - Growth and development
U10 - Computer science, mathematics and statistics

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 1 (2005-2013) - Intensification écologique

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Tamasi Elisabetta, Universita degli studi del Molise (ITA)
  • Stokes Alexia, CNRS (FRA)
  • Lasserre Bruno, Universita degli studi del Molise (ITA)
  • Danjon Frédéric, INRA (FRA)
  • Berthier Stéphane, INRA (FRA)
  • Fourcaud Thierry, CIRAD-AMIS-AMAP (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0001-9475-7239
  • Chiatante Donato, Universita degli studi del Molise (ITA)

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