Adaptive significance of root grafting in trees

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Root grafting has long been observed in forest trees but the adaptive significance of this trait has not been fully explained. Various authors have proposed that root grafting between trees contributes to mechanical support by linking adjacent root systems. Keeley proposes that this trait would be of greatest advantage in swamps where soils provide poor mechanical support. He provides as evidence a greenhouse study of Nyssa sylvatica Marsh in which seedlings of swamp provenance formed between-individual root grafts more frequently than upland provenance seedlings. In agreement with this within-species study, Keeley observed that arid zone species rarely exhibit grafts. Keeley ... continued below

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11 p.

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Loehle, C. & Jones, R. December 31, 1988.

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Description

Root grafting has long been observed in forest trees but the adaptive significance of this trait has not been fully explained. Various authors have proposed that root grafting between trees contributes to mechanical support by linking adjacent root systems. Keeley proposes that this trait would be of greatest advantage in swamps where soils provide poor mechanical support. He provides as evidence a greenhouse study of Nyssa sylvatica Marsh in which seedlings of swamp provenance formed between-individual root grafts more frequently than upland provenance seedlings. In agreement with this within-species study, Keeley observed that arid zone species rarely exhibit grafts. Keeley also demonstrated that vines graft less commonly than trees, and herbs never do. Since the need for mechanical support coincides with this trend, these data seem to support his model. In this paper, the authors explore the mechanisms and ecological significance of root grafting, leading to predictions of root grafting incidence. Some observations support and some contradict the mechanical support hypothesis.

Physical Description

11 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE99002874

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  • Other Information: PBD: [1988]

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  • Other: DE99002874
  • Report No.: DP-MS--88-241
  • Grant Number: AC09-89SR18035;AC09-76SR00001
  • DOI: 10.2172/353384 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 353384
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc674589

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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Creation Date

  • December 31, 1988

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • Jan. 12, 2018, 3:21 p.m.

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Loehle, C. & Jones, R. Adaptive significance of root grafting in trees, report, December 31, 1988; Aiken, South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc674589/: accessed April 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.