Architecture and development of the oil-palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq) root system. Plant Soil

Département des Cultures Pérennes et Unité de Modélisation des Plantes, Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD)
Plant and Soil (Impact Factor: 2.95). 02/1997; 189(1):33-48. DOI: 10.1023/A:1004290024473


The growth dynamics and architecture of the oil-palm root system are described. Following a transitional juvenile phase, eight different morphological types of roots have been distinguished according to their development pattern and state of differentiation: primary vertical and horizontal roots, secondary horizontal roots, upward growing secondary vertical roots and downward growing secondary vertical roots, superficial and deep tertiary roots and quaternary roots. The relative position of these types of roots determines a morphological and functional unit of the root system called 'root architectural unit' of the oil palm. This root polymorphism enabled us to define a morphogenetic gradient, which reflected the oil-palm root-system ontogenesis.

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Available from: Hervé Raymond Rey
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    • "Logistical difficulties, high costs of application and conflicting outcomes severely limit the use of chemical control to reduce BSR, except to prolong the lifespan of oil palms of high economic or genetic value (Chung 2011). Infected debris in the soil can be chemically treated before replanting; however, as the orthotropic tap root and horizontal lateral roots may occupy up to 16 m 3 of soil mass (Jourdan and Rey 1997), high volumes of chemical are required. Methylisothiocyanate released from 'Dazomet' granules upon contact with water can penetrate infected stumps and reduce the viability of Ganoderma inoculum (Idris and Maizatul 2012b); methylisothiocyanate has also been reported to prolong the productive life of oil palms when added to soil mounds around the trees (Idris and Maizatul 2012a). "
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    ABSTRACT: Basal stem-rot and root-rot diseases caused by basidiomycete fungal pathogens are naturally and widely occurring in a large range of hosts. However, they significantly reduce the productivity of several economically important plantation-crop industries in tropical countries. Oil palm, rubber, acacias and eucalypts are all susceptible to basidiomycete rot pathogens to varying degrees and there is no absolute disease resistance. The causal pathogens are persistent as they remain present in wood or crop debris even in the absence of living members of the host species. Disease build-up is often rapid and can reach economically unacceptable levels in the absence of interventions to contain the disease. This study reviews the biology and detection of root-rot disease in oil palm, rubber and hardwood crops with a specific focus on management strategies undertaken in South-East Asia. The diseases caused by basidiomycete rot pathogens in this region are intractable and require an integrated approach to disease management, as it is unlikely that any one control strategy will succeed. In contrast, there has been significant success in reducing losses from basidiomycete rot from pathogens in the northern hemisphere, especially with Heterobasidion annosum sensu lato in forest trees, research being often supported by the establishment of long-term trials required to understand the origins and types of disease. In the tropics, progress has been more fragmented due to the low level of research funding, the problems involved with managing long-term research trials in the tropics, the confidentiality requirements of competitive industries and the lack of literature available in the public arena. This review collates a large body of information from disparate and often obscure sources for oil palm, rubber, acacias and eucalypts, tropical plantation crops that face similar types of stem- and root-rot disease problems. Lessons to be learned from the successes and failures of various management strategies with each type of crop are examined.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Forest Pathology
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    • "Simulated root weight is the smallest of the three vegetative simulated organs . Only limited knowledge of root growth in oil palm exists ( Jourdan and Rey , 1997 ) . The trunk has a low demand for assimilates , but it is free of growth reductions ; while the total amount of frond dry matter is reduced by pruning and roots are affected by mortality . "
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    ABSTRACT: Reducing the gap between water-limited potential yield and actual yield in oil palm production systems through intensification is seen as an important option for sustainably increasing palm oil production. Simulation models can play an important role in quantifying water-limited potential yield, and therefore the scope for intensification, but no oil palm model exists that is both simple enough and at the same time incorporates sufficient plant physiological knowledge to be generally applicable across sites with different growing conditions. The objectives of this study therefore were to develop a model (PALMSIM) that simulates, on a monthly time step, the potential growth of oil palm as determined by solar radiation and to evaluate model performance against measured oil palm yields under optimal water and nutrient management for a range of sites across Indonesia and Malaysia. The maximum observed yield in the field matches the corresponding simulated yield for dry bunch weight with a RMSE of 1.7 Mg ha−1 year−1 against an observed yield of 18.8 Mg ha−1. Sensitivity analysis showed that PALMSIM is robust: simulated changes in yield caused by modifying the parameters by 10% are comparable to other tree crop model evaluations. While we acknowledge that, depending on the soils and climatic environment, yields may be often water limited, we suggest a relatively simple physiological approach to simulate potential yield, which can be usefully applied to high rainfall environments and is considered as a first step in developing an oil palm model that also simulates water-limited potential yield. To illustrate the application possibilities of the model, PALMSIM was used to create a potential yield map for Indonesia and Malaysia by simulating the growth and yield at a resolution of 0.1°. This map of potential yield is considered as a first step towards a decision support tool that can identify potentially productive, but at the moment degraded sites in Indonesia and Malaysia.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Agricultural Systems
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    • "However our results suggest that management practices affected the spatial variation of soil C stocks in our study. In addition to the high amount of fasciculate (fine) surface roots that are common to oil palm trees (Jourdan and Rey 1997), the sidedressing nutrient application may have represented an important source of surface carbon input. Prior to our soil sampling, approximately 82 Mg ha -1 of organic fertilizer was applied in the strip area, which is consistent with the higher soil C stock found in the strip than beneath the crown or between oil palm trees for the OP high treatment. "
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    ABSTRACT: The current expansion of the oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) in the Brazilian Amazon has mainly occurred within smallholder agricultural and degraded areas. Under the social and environmental scenarios associated with these areas, oil palm-based agroforestry systems represent a potentially sustainable method of expanding the crop. The capacity of such systems to store carbon (C) in the soil is an important ecosystem service that is currently not well understood. Here, we quantified the spatial variation of soil C stocks in young (2.5-year-old) oil palm-based agroforestry systems with contrasting species diversity (high vs. low); both systems were compared with a ~10-year-old forest regrowth site and a 9-year-old traditional agroforestry system. The oil palm-based agroforestry system consisted of series of double rows of oil palm and strips of various herbaceous, shrub, and tree species. The mean (±standard error) soil C stocks at 0–50 cm depth were significantly higher in the low (91.8 ± 3.1 Mg C ha−1) and high (87.6 ± 3.3 Mg C ha−1) species diversity oil palm-based agroforestry systems than in the forest regrowth (71.0 ± 2.4 Mg C ha−1) and traditional agroforestry (68.4 ± 4.9 Mg C ha−1) sites. In general, no clear spatial pattern of soil C stocks could be identified in the oil palm-based agroforestry systems. The significant difference in soil carbon between the oil palm area (under oil palm: 12.7 ± 2.3 Mg C ha−1 and between oil palm: 10.6 ± 0.5 Mg C ha−1) and the strip area (17.0 ± 1.4 Mg C ha−1) at 0–5 cm depth very likely reflects the high input of organic fertilizer in the strip area of the high species diversity oil palm-based agroforestry system treatment. Overall, our results indicate a high level of early net accumulation of soil C in the oil palm-based agroforestry systems (6.6–8.3 Mg C ha−1 year−1) that likely reflects the combination of fire-free land preparation, organic fertilization, and the input of plant residues from pruning and weeding.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Agroforestry Systems
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