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Effects of two contrasting canopy manipulations on growth and water use of London plane (Platanus x acerifolia) trees

Effects of two contrasting canopy manipulations on growth and water use of London plane (Platanus x acerifolia) trees

Hipps, Neil A., Davies, Michael J., Dunn, Joel M., Griffiths, Howard and Atkinson, Christopher J. (2014) Effects of two contrasting canopy manipulations on growth and water use of London plane (Platanus x acerifolia) trees. Plant and Soil, 382 (1-2). pp. 61-74. ISSN 0032-079X (Print), 1573-5036 (Online) (doi:

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12430_ATKINSON_Subsidence_Plant_and_Soil_revised_v1_(AAM)_(2014).pdf - Accepted Version

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Aims: Two contrasting canopy manipulations were compared to unpruned controls on London plane trees, to determine the effects on canopy regrowth, soil and leaf water relations.

Methods: ‘Canopy reduction’, was achieved by removing the outer 30 % length of all major branches and ‘canopy thinning’, by removing 30 % of lateral branches arising from major branches.

Results: Total canopy leaf areas recovered within two and three years of pruning for the canopy-thinned and reduced trees respectively. Canopy reduction increased mean leaf size, nitrogen concentration, canopy leaf area density and conserved soil moisture for up to 3 years, whereas canopy thinning had no effects. Another experiment compared more severe canopy reduction to unpruned trees. This produced a similar growth response to the previous experiment, but soil moisture was conserved nearer to the trunk. Analysis of 13C and 18O signals along with leaf water relations and soil moisture data suggested that lower boundary layer conductance within the canopy-reduced trees restricted tree water use, whereas for the canopy-thinned trees the opposite occurred.

Conclusions: Only canopy reduction conserved soil moisture and this was due to a combination of reduced total canopy leaf area and structural changes in canopy architecture.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Author's Accepted Manuscript version, uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. This is the Author’s Accepted Manuscript version of a paper published in PLANT AND SOIL by Springer International Publishing on 17 May 2014. The final publication is available at Springer via [2] Acknowledgments (funding): This work was funded via the Department of Environment, and Food and Agriculture, Horticulture LINK 212 with contributions from Department of Communities and Government, the Highways Agency, the Association of British Insurers, the East Malling Trust and Delta-T Devices Ltd.
Uncontrolled Keywords: leaf area, pruning, soil moisture, stable isotopes, subsidence
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QK Botany
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2016 13:25
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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