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Proximity, clump size and root distribution pattern in bamboo: A case study of Bambusa arundinacea (Retz.) Willd., Poaceae, in the Ultisols of Kerala, India

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Root distribution pattern and competitiveness of bamboo (Bambusa arundinacea (Retz.) Willd.) for below ground resources in mixed species systems were evaluated using logarithmic spiral trenching and 32P soil injection techniques respectively. Excavation studies indicated that rooting intensity in different soil horizons declined either exponentially or quadratically with increasing lateral distance from the bamboo clump. Surface horizon (0-10 cm) of the soil profile showed the least bamboo rooting intensity. It was highest in the 10-20 cm soil layer with nearly 27% of the total roots. Clump size is another important determinant of bamboo rooting intensity. Smaller bamboo crowns/clumps showed the lowest rooting intensity, when measured at 5 m and 7.5 m lateral distances and increased linearly with increasing crown radius. Implicit in this is the potential for management practices to regulate competition in mixed species systems through controlling clump size/crown expansion. Our results also showed that 32P uptake by bamboo in binary combinations involving teak (Tectona grandis) and vateria (Vateria indica) was proportional to bamboo rooting intensity, when the 32P label was applied to the dicot trees. Root competitiveness in polycultural systems involving bamboo, therefore, is a function of the proximity of bamboo to the associated tree/crop, which in turn, decides the bamboo rooting intensity.

10.1163/156915901753313605
/content/journals/10.1163/156915901753313605
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/content/journals/10.1163/156915901753313605
2001-10-01
2016-12-06

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