A simple and cost-effective method for cable root detection and extension measurement in estuary wetland forests

Vovides, A. G. , Marín-Castro, B., Barradas, G., Berger, U. and López-Portillo, J. (2016) A simple and cost-effective method for cable root detection and extension measurement in estuary wetland forests. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 183(Part A), pp. 117-122. (doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2016.10.029)

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This work presents the development of a low-cost method to measure the length cable roots of black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) trees to define the boundaries of central part of the anchoring root system (CPRS) without the need to fully expose root systems. The method was tested to locate and measure the length shallow woody root systems. An ultrasonic Doppler fetal monitor (UD) and a stock of steel rods (SR) were used to probe root locations without removing sediments from the surface, measure their length and estimate root-soil plate dimensions. The method was validated by comparing measurements with root lengths taken through direct measurement of excavated cable roots and from root-soil plate radii (exposed root-soil material when a tree tips over) of five up-rooted trees with stem diameters (D130) ranging between 10 and 50 cm. The mean CPRS radius estimated with the use of the Doppler was directly correlated with tree stem diameter and was not significantly different from the root-soil plate mean radius measured from up-rooted trees or from CPRS approximated by digging trenches. Our method proved to be effective and reliable in following cable roots for large amounts of trees of both black and white mangrove trees. In a period of 40 days of work, three people were capable of measuring 648 roots belonging to 81 trees, out of which 37% were found grafted to other tree roots. This simple method can be helpful in following shallow root systems with minimal impact and help map root connection networks of grafted trees.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Vovides, Dr Alejandra
Authors: Vovides, A. G., Marín-Castro, B., Barradas, G., Berger, U., and López-Portillo, J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
ISSN (Online):1096-0015
Published Online:24 October 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.
First Published:First published in Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 183(Part A):117-122
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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