Response of the poplar root system architecture to a local soil mechanical stress. - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2022

Response of the poplar root system architecture to a local soil mechanical stress.

Lama Traboulsi
  • Function : Author
Cyril Buré
  • Function : Author
Irène Hummel
Marie-Béatrice Bogeat-Triboulot


The development of the root system allows for soil resource foraging and its 3D spatial arrangement inside the soil is known as the root system architecture (RSA). Since soil is spatially and temporally heterogeneous in terms of chemical and physical properties, RSA plasticity contributes to better face local stresses and maintain resources acquisition. In poplar plantations, forest machinery and short rotations can lead to significant soil compaction and endanger wood production sustainability (Virto et al., 2015) highlighting the need to understand the physical limitations to root growth in soils. In order to study the response of RSA of poplar woody cuttings to mechanical stress, we perform a split root experiment, in rectangular flat rhizoboxes (28 x 19 x 3 cm) with two contrasting substrates: a peat and fine sand mix (50/50 v/v), and a coarser substrate made of the mix added with 55% of quartz stones (3-7 mm). We hypothesized that 1) the mechanical stress due to the presence of stones would result in variations of the poplar RSA and that 2) a local stress would affect the RSA in the other compartment through a systemic signal. The analyses of the root traits and RSA within each compartment showed that the root dry weight, the total root length and the mean adventitious root length were reduced but that the mean lateral root length was higher in the stony compartment. We also found that the presence of a local mechanical stress (presence of stones in the soil) affected the root growth and the RSA at a distance from the stress, in the “soft” substrate compartment, suggesting a systemic signal from one side of the root system to the other. A further description of architectural traits based on detailed image analysis such as root diameter and lateral root distribution and density will complete these results. Such studies open the door on the understanding of the effect of mechanical stress on the root system development, thus paving the way for new solutions that would preserve the root system of trees under such stress and selecting plant cultivars that behave better in such situation.
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hal-03863599 , version 1 (21-11-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03863599 , version 1


Lama Traboulsi, Cyril Buré, Irène Hummel, Marie-Béatrice Bogeat-Triboulot. Response of the poplar root system architecture to a local soil mechanical stress.. Eight International Poplar Symposium (IPS VIII) “Poplars and Willows in the Era of Global Change: Agroforestry, Environmental Improvement, and Ecosystem Services to Enhance Livelihoods”, IUFRO, Oct 2022, Novi Sad, Serbia. ⟨hal-03863599⟩
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