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Proceedings of Past Forest Nursery Association Meetings:

Target Seedling Root System Size, Hydraulic Conductivity, and Water Use During Seedling Establishment
Carlson, William C.; Miller, D. Elaine
1990: Roseburg, OR
Basic survival requires that a seedling root system be large
enough to supply water in amounts that cover transpira-
tional loss. Because transpiration is an interactive phe-
nomenon influenced by the planting environment as well
as the shoot and root morphology of the tree, what might
be sufficient seedling morphology for one geographic
region could be inadequate for another region or another
species within the same region. A target seedling mor-
phology that has worked well for loblolly pine in the
South can be described as 10-12 inches tall, 4 mm in
diameter, and having 6 or more lateral roots. The net
result is a seedling that has a high probability of survival.
The focus of this paper is how hydraulic conductivity and
seedling water use can be used to quantify relationships
between morphology and function.
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