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Title: The effects of soil, terrain and wind climate on tree root system development and anchorage
Author: Nicoll, Bruce C.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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Firstly, a database was constructed of tree anchorage measurements from almost 2000 trees of 12 conifer species. An analysis revealed that Sitka spruce had best anchorage on peat and poorest anchorage on gleyed mineral soils. Trees with root depths >80 cm had critical turning moments 10 to 15% larger than shallow rooted trees. There was better anchorage for grand fir and Douglas-fir than Sitka spruce with various soils and rooting depths. Lodgepole pine was less well anchored, as was shallow rooted (<40cm) Norway spruce on gleyed mineral soil and Corsican pine on medium depth (40-80cm) mineral soil. All other species had similar anchorage to Sitka spruce on equivalent soil. Secondly, as most tree pulling had been conducted on relatively horizontal sites, anchorage and root development of Sitka spruce was compared between a steep (30*) slope and an adjacent horizontal area with similar soil. No overall effect of terrain on anchorage was found, but trees pulled up-slope had significantly better anchorage than those pulled down-slope. Finally, the radial growth response of tree stems and structural roots to wind loading were examined in two experiments: 1. Growth ring chronologies from stems and structural roots of 46-year-old Sitka spruce trees grown on an exposed upland site, were compared with wind records. Wind speed was well correlated with growth of structural roots on the lee- and wind-ward side of the tree. 2. Wind movement, light and photosynthate supply were manipulated on 10-year-old Sitka spruce trees. Trees responded to reduced photosynthate supply (induced by branch girdling) with an immediate reduction in stem and root radial growth. Trees responded to a stand thinning treatment (increased light and wind movement), and to a thinning and guying treatment (increased light, reduced wind movement), with immediate increases in root radial growth, and increases in stem radial growth delayed by a year.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available