Biomass partitioning in a miniature-scale loblolly pine spacing trial

Matthew B. Russell, Harold E. Burkhart, Ralph L. Amateis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Stand conditions influence the partitioning of biomass to stem, needle, branch, and root components. Using data from 4- to 6-year-old loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) trees grown in a miniature-scale spacing trial, this study determined the effect of initial spacing on the biomass partitioning of loblolly pine. Multivariate analysis of variance procedures concluded that row and column spacing did not have a significant effect on the relative amount of biomass among tree components. Root/shoot and height/diameter ratios, however, differed across densities, indicating that allometric-based partitioning trade- offs occurred. Results from the miniature-scale trees showed trends similar to those observed with mature-sized trees at operational spatial scales. Stem and woody roots were 70% and 14% of total mass, respectively. Since these trees were physiologically young at the time of harvest, the allocation of mass to needle continued to be a priority, accounting for 10% of the total mass. Initial planting spacing did not directly affect partitioning patterns; however, allometric ratios of- fered some evidence that partitioning may have changed between above- and below-ground tree components. This analysis offers insight into using principles from similarity analysis to analytically relate biomass partitioning from miniature to operational spatial scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-329
Number of pages10
JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


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