Effects of soil compaction on growth variables in Cappadocian maple (Acer cappadocicum) seedlings
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This study investigates the effects of increasing soil penetration resistance (SPR) on seedling morphology and seedling architecture. When seedlings of deciduous Cappadocian maple (Acer cappadocicum Gled.) were grown in a greenhouse in a loamy soil under a wide range of soil compactions, all morphological variables studied changed significantly with increasing SPR. The relationships between increasing SPR and all morphological responses except lateral root length followed a negative quadratic curve. All biomass variables except lateral root biomass showed a bell-shaped response with respect to SPR, with a maximum biomass variable between 0.6 and 1.2 MPa, decreasing at higher soil compaction values. All allocation ratios were significantly affected by soil penetration resistance. Biomass allocation to roots was also affected by soil compaction. There was not a significant relationship between the specific stem length and increasing soil penetration resistance. The specific root length showed two trends to increasing SPR; it first decreased in response to the moderate compaction treatment (up to about 1.2 MPa), then increased significantly. We concluded that increasing soil compaction caused morphological changes to root and shoot sections of A. cappadocicum seedlings.
KeywordsSoil penetration resistance Cappadocian maple Morphology Biomass Allocation ratios
This paper is a one of the results of the research project No. 93014726. The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Iran National Science Foundation (INSF). We thank two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments to improve the manuscript.
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