Roots collected from the top of the screen from soil pits in 2018
- Get a sample out of the freezer. Weigh it and record the weight on the data sheet.
- Place the sample on a big sheet of paper and sort the roots into diameter classes (< 1, 1-2 mm, 2-5 mm, 5-20 mm, and 20-100 mm). Use calipers to confirm diameters. Cut small roots where they attach to larger roots if they belong in a different pile. Roots identified as dead at this point can go into a different pile.
a.unsorted pile sorted roots b. sorted roots c. group of fine roots
3. Wash the roots. Separate live from dead roots, and distinguish live roots from dead. Dead roots may feel squishy, be decayed, or be distinguishable by morphological criteria.
|Stele color||white or slightly brown||brownish/dark||Persson & Stadenberg, 2009; Schuurman,1971)|
|Elasticity||elastic||broke easily||Vogt and Persson 1991; Schuurman,1971|
|Root branching||well branched||broken off/ separated||Vogt and Persson 1991|
|Texture||smooth||wrinkled||(Gwenzi et al., 2011).|
Subsampling can be used to speed up processing when there is too much material <1 mm in diameter. This may happen for the samples collected above the screen in the Oie, Oa and 0-10 cm depth increments. Combine all <1 mm roots into one pile and subdivide them into six or more groups. Weigh each of the piles, to be used for scaling the results to the whole sample. Randomly select two groups to process.
Subsampling of <1 mm size
4. Bag the rest of the root diameter classes (1-2 mm, 2-5 mm, 5-20 mm, and 20-100 mm) and label bags indicating the site, plot, depth class, diameter class, and date of collection. Use coin envelopes if the samples are small.
5. Put samples in the oven at 60 degrees C for at least two days. When samples have dried to a constant weight (they don’t lose more weight on further drying), weigh the samples and record the masses on the datasheet.
By Amelyn Ambal and Ruth Yanai