Current issue: 56(4)
The root system of a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) growing on a peatland is restricted, according to earlier studies, on the top layers of the peat above the groundwater level. Drainage of the peatland affects growth of the root system. This investigation aims at studying the root systems on the point of view of draining of peatlands. The structure and distribution, and the growth of mycorrhiza in Scots pine roots in pine swamps varying from natural state to well drained state is studied.
The study shows that Scots pine on pine swamps has more extensive root system than has earlier assumed, it is common to find 1,000 m of roots in one cubic meter in a healthy stand. The trees reach this density of roots early on. In a drained peatland, the total root length is markedly higher than in a similar stand in natural state. The root systems proved to be very shallow. Even in a well-drained site the roots did not grow deeper than 20 cm. 70% of all roots were found in the upper 5 cm layer of peat, and 90% in the upper 10 cm layer. Root systems were deeper in drained peatlands, but the difference was small. In a site in natural state the average depth of the roots was 4 cm, and in a drained site 5 cm. About 85% of the roots were under 1 mm of diameter. Short roots were found only in the fine roots. Draining increases strongly the number of short roots. Mycorrhizas of the types A, B, C and D as well as pseudomychorrizas were found in the pine roots.
The PDF includes a summary in German.