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Root development in rattans 2. Soil requirements and efficiency of the root systems of Calamus thwaitesii Becc. and Hook. f. and Calamus rotang L. in the seedling stage

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The function and activity of a root system is closely linked to its normal environment, the soil. The soil volume exploited by the two species was calculated and a comparison showed that Calamus rotang exploited more soil volume than C. thwaitesii. The effective soil volume was also found to show an increase in C. rotang when compared to C. thwaitesii. Knowing the effective soil volume, the size of the polybag to be used in the nursery can be adjusted. The root spread of the two species shows that a 30 × 30 × 30 cm pit size will be sufficient for seedlings up to 2 years old. Rooting density is found to be more in the upper 30 cm layer of soil in both species. Root density, total root intensity and fine root intensity are higher in C. thwaitesii when compared to C. rotang. Root surface area also is more in C. thwaitesii. Hence, this species will be more efficient in water and nutrient uptake in the seedling stage. Both species are good soil binders.


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