Manual recording of minirhizotron data and its application to study the effect of herbicide and nitrogen fertiliser on tree and pasture root growth in a silvopastoral system

C. D. Campbell*, L. A. Mackie-Dawson, E. J. Reid, S. M. Pratt, E. I. Duff, S. T. Buckland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The use of a simple counting method using a borescope and minirhizotron system to study the interaction of roots of wild cherry trees (Prunus avium L) and pasture in an upland silvopastoral system is described. Operator variation was greatest when distinguishing different tree root categories (e.g. white, brown, woody) but was not significant in relation to total tree or grass root counts or species differences. Analysis of covariance was used to take these differences into account in a field trial using several operators. The seasonal patterns of tree and pasture root growth were different. Tree roots peaked in May before maximal shoot growth. The peak in pasture roots occurred two weeks earlier. Tree height growth was increased by the use of herbicides to control grass growth but this effect was only apparent during August when the soil was dry and when pasture root counts were reduced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-87
Number of pages13
JournalAgroforestry Systems
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1994

Keywords

  • borescope
  • competition
  • herbicide
  • minirhizotron
  • pasture
  • Prunus avium
  • silvopastoral

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