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Changes with age in the spatial localisation of roots of an Eucalyptus clone in the Congo, impact on water uptake ability

Bouillet J.P., Arnaud M., Laclau J.P., Thongo M'Bou A.. 2000. In : Sociedade Portuguesa da Ciencia do Solo, Sociedade Portuguesa de Ciencias Florestais, Universidade de Tras-os-Montes e Alto. Abstracts : International Symposium Managing Forest Soils for Sustainable Productivity, Vila Real, Portugal, 18-22 september 2000. s.l. : s.n., p. 57-58. International Symposium Managing Forest Soils for Sustainable Productivity, 2000-09-18/2000-09-22, Vila Real (Portugal).

More than 40,000 ha of clonal eucalypt plantations have been established in the Pointe-Noire region on very deep sandy soils. As the precipitation are low (1200 mm/yr"') and the water requirements of Eucalyptus are high, it is very important to study the water uptake strategy of such plantations. This study focuses on the spatial variability of the root distribution, which is an important data to establish hydrological models. A previous study, using the method of root impacts counting, was conducted on a six-year-old planted crop where a TDR monitoring was carried out, up to 5m depth. It showed 1) A stréng vertical anisotropy of the distribution of thin mots, the density of roots decreasing sharply with depth 2) A horizontal anisotropy decreasing when the distance of the profile from the stump increases 3) A grouping of thin roots due to the possible influence of preferential ways of drainage, link to a severe hydrophobicity of the upper soil. This work aims to complete these results by studying, at différent ages of the rotation, the spatial localization of the root system of stands planted with the saine clone as previously.
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