Mechanical reinforcement of soil by willow roots: impacts of root properties and root failure mechanism

Slobodan B. Mickovski, Paul D. Hallett, M. Fraser Bransby, Michael C. R. Davies, Rene Sonnenberg, A. Glyn Bengough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Plant roots have considerable impact on the mechanical stability of soil, but to date the underlying mechanisms have been poorly quantified. In this study, controlled laboratory studies of soil reinforced with willow trees (Salix viminalis cv Tora) found a strong correlation between the cross-sectional area of soil covered by roots and shear reinforcement. We separated broken versus pulled-out roots and measured individual root diameters crossing the shear-plane. The shear strength of planted specimens compared with non-planted specimens increased eight-fold at 0.10-m shear depth, more than four-fold at 0.25-m depth, and more than doubled at 0.40-m depth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1276-1285
Number of pages10
JournalSoil Science Society of America Journal
Volume73
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

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failure mechanism
reinforcement
shears
Salix viminalis
soil
shear strength
fold

Keywords

  • soil science
  • soil stability
  • plant roots
  • willow trees

Cite this

Mickovski, Slobodan B. ; Hallett, Paul D. ; Bransby, M. Fraser ; Davies, Michael C. R. ; Sonnenberg, Rene ; Bengough, A. Glyn. / Mechanical reinforcement of soil by willow roots: impacts of root properties and root failure mechanism. In: Soil Science Society of America Journal. 2009 ; Vol. 73, No. 4. pp. 1276-1285.
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Mechanical reinforcement of soil by willow roots: impacts of root properties and root failure mechanism. / Mickovski, Slobodan B.; Hallett, Paul D.; Bransby, M. Fraser; Davies, Michael C. R.; Sonnenberg, Rene; Bengough, A. Glyn.

In: Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 73, No. 4, 07.2009, p. 1276-1285.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mechanical reinforcement of soil by willow roots: impacts of root properties and root failure mechanism

AU - Mickovski, Slobodan B.

AU - Hallett, Paul D.

AU - Bransby, M. Fraser

AU - Davies, Michael C. R.

AU - Sonnenberg, Rene

AU - Bengough, A. Glyn

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AB - Plant roots have considerable impact on the mechanical stability of soil, but to date the underlying mechanisms have been poorly quantified. In this study, controlled laboratory studies of soil reinforced with willow trees (Salix viminalis cv Tora) found a strong correlation between the cross-sectional area of soil covered by roots and shear reinforcement. We separated broken versus pulled-out roots and measured individual root diameters crossing the shear-plane. The shear strength of planted specimens compared with non-planted specimens increased eight-fold at 0.10-m shear depth, more than four-fold at 0.25-m depth, and more than doubled at 0.40-m depth.

KW - soil science

KW - soil stability

KW - plant roots

KW - willow trees

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SN - 0361-5995

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