Volume 56, Issue 3 p. 319-327

A numerical investigation into factors affecting the anchorage of roots in tension

L. Dupuy

L. Dupuy

Laboratoire de Rhéologie du Bois de Bordeaux, CNRS INRA Université Bordeaux I, Domaine de l'Hermitage, 69 route d'Arcachon, 33612 Cestas Cedex,

Institut pour le Développement Forestier, 23 avenue Bosquet, 75007 Paris, and

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T. Fourcaud

Corresponding Author

T. Fourcaud

Laboratoire de Rhéologie du Bois de Bordeaux, CNRS INRA Université Bordeaux I, Domaine de l'Hermitage, 69 route d'Arcachon, 33612 Cestas Cedex,

AMAP CIRAD – AMIS, TA 40/PS2 Cedex 5, 34398 Montpellier, France

T. Fourcaud. E-mail: [email protected]Search for more papers by this author
A. Stokes

A. Stokes

Laboratoire de Rhéologie du Bois de Bordeaux, CNRS INRA Université Bordeaux I, Domaine de l'Hermitage, 69 route d'Arcachon, 33612 Cestas Cedex,

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First published: 22 October 2004
Citations: 98

Summary

The arrangement of a plant's roots in the soil determines the ability of the plant to resist uprooting. We have investigated the influence of root morphology on anchorage using simple patterns of root systems and numerical simulation. The form and mechanical properties of roots were derived from results found in the literature. Major parameters determining soil characteristics, root patterns and strength were varied so that their influence could be evaluated. The design of the experimental method we used generated an optimal number of configurations of different root systems, the tensile resistances of which were calculated by two-dimensional finite element analysis. We could quantify the influence of specific parameters, e.g. branching angle, number of lateral roots and soil cohesion, as well as global parameters such as total contact area, basal diameter and volume of the whole root system. We found that the number of roots and the diameter of roots were major components affecting the resistance to uprooting. The combination of topology and biomass explained 70% of the variation of tensile resistance.