Current issue: 57(2)
Under compilation: 57(3)
Draining transforms root systems of trees growing in peatlands towards the ones growing on mineral soil. However, even after efficient draining the root systems differ from the root systems of trees growing on mineral soil. This investigation concentrates on root systems of forests of similar mire types growing in similar draining conditions but having different tree species compositions. The peatland, situated in Pieksämäki in Southern Finland, was drained in 1937. Sample plots, measured in 1956, consisted of mixed forest of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), Norway spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) and birch (Betula sp.) in different compositions, and were in natural condition.
The sedge pine bog studied in this investigation was shown to have larger total amount of roots and mycorrhiza than in previously studied dwarf shrub pine bogs. This reflects better growth conditions of the better site. The depth of root system was, however, similar. Root systems of birch were deeper than those of the coniferous tree species. Differences between Scots pine and Norway spruce were small. Corresponding differences between the species were found in the density and total number of mycorrhizas. The abundance of mycorrhizas in the roots of birch increased in deeper layers of peat, but decreased especially in spruce roots. In earlier studies the abundance of mycorrhizas decreased in the roots growing in deeper layers in pure Scots pine stands, but no such variation was seen in this study. The result suggest that the deep root system of birch may affect also the root systems of the coniferous trees. On the other hand, birch roots can have advantage over the coniferous trees.
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