Effect of root moisture content and diameter on root tensile properties

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The stabilization of slopes by vegetation has been a topical issue for many years. Root mechanical characteristics significantly influence soil reinforcement; therefore it is necessary to research into the indicators of root tensile properties. In this study, we explored the influence of root moisture content on tensile resistance and strength with different root diameters and for different tree species. Betula platyphylla, Quercus mongolica, Pinus tabulaeformis, and Larix gmelinii, the most popular tree species used for slope stabilization in the rocky mountainous areas of northern China, were used in this study. A tensile test was conducted after root samples were grouped by diameter and moisture content. The results showedthat: 1) root moisture content had a significant influence on tensile properties; 2) slightly loss of root moisture content could enhance tensile strength, but too much loss of water resulted in weaker capacity for root elongation, and consequently reduced tensile strength; 3) root diameter had a strong positive correlation with tensile resistance; and4) the roots of Betula platyphylla had the best tensile properties when both diameter and moisture content being controlled. These findings improve our understanding of root tensile properties with root size and moisture, and could be useful for slope stabilization using vegetation.




Yang, Y., Chen, L., Li, N., & Zhang, Q. (2016). Effect of root moisture content and diameter on root tensile properties. PLoS ONE, 11(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0151791

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