Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

M. Dannowski und A. Wurbs:

Spatial differentiated representation of maximum rooting depths of different plant communities on a field wood-area of the Northeast German Lowland


There is an urgent need of accurate representations of the vertical distribution of roots and maximum rooting depth of plant communities in larger area units of the landscape. This information is needed for assessing the influence of the rooted soil zone on water, carbon and nutrient fluxes by model calculations with higher accuracy. This complex approach requires a different methodical procedure than the widespread in the root research, dealing with single roots or root systems of single plants only. In the recent study the root system associations of plant communities were examined as the smallest functional units and as whole systems as well. The experimental area was a field wood of 3,200 m2 size, grown with plant communities of different biotope types. Measuring data on the maximum rooting depths of the root system associations are ascertained by aid of soil trench profile walls. A possibility is shown for illustration of the spatial distribution of different rooting depth classes of the examined plant communities with a numeric classification, and a GIS based representation of the data and their visualization in a 3D-graphic as well. In this way an overview of the spatial specifics of the potential dehydration depths can be obtained for the plant communities of the area. All examined plant communities showed an unexpectedly high difference between main root zone and maximum rooting depth.

Key words: maximum rooting depth, root distribution, root system association, plant community, field wood-area.