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Proceedings of Past Forest Nursery Association Meetings:

Alternative Methods to Evaluate Root Growth Potential and Measure Root Growth
Rietveld, W.J.; Tinus, Richard W.
1987: Oklahoma City, OK
This paper reports experiments that compared root growth potential (RGP) testing methods, methods of quantifying root growth, and diagnostic ability of test methods. Factors that affect root growth in RGP tests are discussed. New root growth and plant water potential patterns of jack pine seedlings in pot, hydroponic, and aeroponic culture were similar, but new roots appeared first in hydroponic and aeroponic culture. The simplest method of quantifying root growth is to measure the number of roots longer than a minimum length. Electronic measurement of root area index is fast and well correlated with root number and length, but the equipment cost makes it most suitable for large operations. Test method and test length may affect results. Fourteen-day pot and aeroponic culture tests of jack pine seedlings subjected to root exposure treatments accurately diagnosed the weakened seedlings, but the seedlings recovered in 28-day tests, especially in aeroponic culture. For new applications, it is recommended that preliminary screening tests be run to determine the most suitable testing conditions.
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