A method of estimating the total length of root in a sample.

Published online
02 Jan 1967
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Newman, E. I.

Publication language


In this technique the roots are laid out on a flat surface and a count is made of the number of intersections between the roots and random straight lines. Total root length is then π NA/2H, where N = number of intersections, A- area of the flat surface within which the roots lie and H = total length of the straight lines. Comparison of this method with 2 other techniques using flax, [meadow] fescue and other plants showed it to be much quicker than direct measurement and more precise for a given time interval than measurement of a sub-sample and weighing.-R.B.

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