Advertisement

Sinker Root System in Trees with Emphasis on Soil Profile

  • S. Devi
  • R. Angrish
  • S. Madaan
  • O. P. Toky
  • S. S. AryaEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Anchorage, water and nutrient uptake and transport are well-known functions of tree roots. However, recent studies ascribe more complex physiological and ecological role to tree roots. This is more particularly so in many tree species where roots have a characteristic dimorphic spread having (1) the surface roots that have a subterranean horizontal spread a few metres around the trunk and (2) sinker roots that go vertically downwards to 10 m and beyond. Increasing evidence is accumulating that the surface and sinker roots form a very dynamic water facilitating system in the soil. This is discussed under three main heads. Firstly, the sinker roots have access to groundwater moisture and even the capillary fringe of the deep water tables making the transpiration and the vital shoot processes sustainable, even when the upper soil profiles are dry. Such roots also cause biodrainage of the water table preventing it from rising to surface layers and making the soil waterlogged. Secondly, the sinker and surface roots form an integrated conduit in the soil that causes upward hydraulic redistribution of the deep soil water to soil surface. Interestingly, this water may also be used by shallow-rooted herbaceous vegetation for its sustainability during episodes of drought. Thirdly, a downward hydraulic redistribution from the surface roots in moist topsoil to the deep soil through the sinker roots may recharge the deep dry soil profiles for future use. The sinker root system, therefore, enables hydraulic redistribution sustaining dry season transpiration and photosynthetic rates of the parent tree and surrounding shallow-rooted vegetation, prolonging the life span of fine roots and maintaining root–soil contact in dry soils and storing rainwater down into deeper soil layers for dry season utilization.

Keywords

Trees Surface roots Sinker roots Biodrainage Downward hydraulic redistribution Upward hydraulic redistribution 

References

  1. Aanderud ZT, Richards JH (2009) Hydraulic redistribution may stimulate decomposition. Biogeochemistry 95:323–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Angrish R, Toky OP, Datta KS (2006) Biological water management: biodrainage. Curr Sci 90:897Google Scholar
  3. Anonymous (2003) Biodrainage: status in India and other countries. Indian National committee on Irrigation and Drainage, New Delhi, pp 1–4Google Scholar
  4. Bauerle TL, Richards JH, Smart DR, Eissenstat DM (2008) Importance of internal hydraulic redistribution for prolonging the lifespan of roots in dry soil. Plant Cell Environ 31:177–186PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Burgess SSO, Adams MA, Turner NC, Ong CK (1998) The redistribution of soil water by tree root systems. Oecologia 115:306–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Crosbie RS, Wilson B, Hughes JD, McCulloch C, King WM (2008) A comparison of the water use of tree belts and pasture in recharge and discharge zones in a saline catchment in the central west of NSW, Australia. Agric Water Manag 95:211–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hawkins H-J, Hettasch H, West AG, Cramer MD (2009) Hydraulic redistribution by Protea “Sylvia” (Proteaceae) facilitates soil water replenishment and water acquisition by an understorey grass and shrub. Funct Plant Biol 36:752–760CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Heuperman AF, Kapoor AS, Denecke HW (2002) Biodrainage – principles, experiences and applications. Knowledge synthesis report No. 6. International Programme for Technology and Research in Irrigation and Drainage (IPTRID), IPTRID Secretariat, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
  9. Hultine KR, Williams DG, Burgess SOS, Keefer TO (2003) Contrasting patterns of hydraulic redistribution in three desert phreatophytes. Oecologia 135:167–175CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Hultine KR, Scott RL, Cable WL, Goodrich DC, Williams DG (2004) Hydraulic redistribution by a dominant, warm-desert phreatophyte: seasonal patterns and response to precipitation pulses. Funct Ecol 18:530–538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jackson RB, Ehleringer JR, Mooney HA, Sala OE, Schulze ED (1996) Maximum rooting depth of vegetation types at the global scale. Oecologia 108:583–595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Knight JH (1999) Roots distributions and water uptake patterns in Eucalypts and other species. In: Landsberg J (ed) The ways trees use water. Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Australia, Publication No. 99/37, pp 55–75Google Scholar
  13. Lehto T, Zwiazek JJ (2011) Ectomycorrhizas and water relations of trees: a review. Mycorrhiza 21:71–90CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Neumann RB, Cardon ZG (2012) The magnitude of hydraulic redistribution by plant roots: a review and synthesis of empirical and modeling studies. New Phytol 194:337–352CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Pallardy SG (2010) Physiology of woody plants, 3rd edn. Academic, New York, 464 ppGoogle Scholar
  16. Pasiecznik NM, Felker P, Harris, PJC, Harsh LN, Cruz G, Tewari JC, Cadoret K, Maldonado LJ (2001) The Prosopis julifloraProsopis pallida complex: a monograph. HDRA, Coventry, UK, p 172. ISBN: 0 905343 30 1Google Scholar
  17. Priyadarshini KVR, Prins HHT, de Bie S, Heitkönig IMA, Woodborne S, Gort G, Kirkman K, Ludwig F, De Kroon H (2015) Seasonality of hydraulic redistribution by trees to grasses and changes in their water-source use that change tree–grass interactions. Ecohydrology 9:218–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ram J, Garg VK, Toky OP, Minhas PS, Tomar OS, Dagar JC, Kamra SK (2007) Biodrainage potential of Eucalyptus tereticornis for reclamation of shallow water table areas in north-west India. Agrofor Syst 69:147–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ritzema HP, Satyanarayana TV, Raman S, Boonstra J (2008) Subsurface drainage to combat waterlogging and salinity in irrigated lands in India: lessons learned in farmer’s fields. Agric Water Manag 95:179–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Stephen SO, Burgess SSO, Adams MA, Turner NC, White DA, Ong CK (2001) Tree roots: conduits for deep recharge of soil water. Oecologia 126:158–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Tanji KK (1991) Agricultural salinity assessment and management. American Society of Civil Engineers, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. Toky OP, Angrish R (2014) Mitigation of water logging and salinity through biodrainage: potential and practice. World Agric (UK) 4:72–77Google Scholar
  23. Toky OP, Bisht RP (1992) Observations on the rooting patterns of some agroforestry trees in arid region of north-western India. Agrofor Syst 18:245–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wilde SA, Steinbrenner RS, Pierce RS, Dozen RC, Pronin DT (1953) Influence of forest cover on the state of groundwater table. Proc Soil Sci Soc Am 17:65–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wullschleger SD, Meinzer FC, Vertessy RA (1998) A review of whole plant water use studies in trees. Tree Physiol 18:499–512CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Yu K, Foster A (2016) Modeled hydraulic redistribution in tree-grass, CAM-grass, and tree-CAM associations: the implications of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). Oecologia 180:1113–1125CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Zanetti C, Weller A, Vennetier M, Menaux P (2011) Detection of buried tree root samples by using geoelectrical measurements: a laboratory experiment. Plant Soil 339:273–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Devi
    • 1
  • R. Angrish
    • 1
  • S. Madaan
    • 1
  • O. P. Toky
    • 2
  • S. S. Arya
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Botany and Plant PhysiologyCCS HAUHisarIndia
  2. 2.Department of ForestryCCS HAUHisarIndia
  3. 3.Department of BotanyMaharshi Dayanand UniversityRohtakIndia

Personalised recommendations