Plant and Soil

, Volume 326, Issue 1–2, pp 303–310 | Cite as

Root-tip diameters of woody species in subalpine Abies forest

  • Shin Ugawa
  • Kojiro Iwamoto
  • Yojiro Matsuura
  • Masamichi Takahashi
  • Kenji Fukuda
Regular Article


We clarified the differences in root-tip diameter (RTD) among tree and shrub species in an Abies forest. To evaluate the effects of sampling month and tree size on RTD, we measured the root-tip diameters of mature individuals of nine woody species and sapling individuals of two Abies species in a subalpine Abies forest on Mount Shimagare in central Japan. Species, sampling month, and their interaction affected RTD; however, the differences in RTD between some pairs of species were consistent across sampling months. The woody species fell into two groups, based on RTD size: tree species with larger RTDs (group 1) and shrub species with smaller RTDs (group 2). Seasonal changes in RTD were observed in three species and showed different patterns among species. Tree size did not affect RTD for either Abies species; however, there was an interaction between tree size and sampling month for Abies veitchii. The woody species category had the greatest effect on RTD, followed by sampling month and then tree size.


Root-tip diameter Sampling month Subalpine Tree size Woody species 



We are indebted to A. Nagatomo-Ugawa and the members of the Department of Forest Site Environment of the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute for supporting this research. In particular, we thank Dr. K. Noguchi (Shikoku Research Center, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute) and Dr. Y. Inagaki (Nutrient Dynamics Laboratory, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute) for advising this research. Permission to conduct the study in this National Forest was provided by the Department of Nanshin, Chubu Regional Forest Office, Forestry Agency.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shin Ugawa
    • 1
  • Kojiro Iwamoto
    • 2
  • Yojiro Matsuura
    • 1
  • Masamichi Takahashi
    • 1
  • Kenji Fukuda
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Forest Site EnvironmentForestry and Forest Products Research InstituteIbarakiJapan
  2. 2.Tama Forest Science GardenForestry and Forest Products Research InstituteHachioji-shiJapan
  3. 3.Institute of Environmental Studies, Graduate School of Frontier SciencesThe University of TokyoKashiwa-shiJapan

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