Browsing Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest, Volume 07 (1977) by Subjects
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Root System of Shrub Live Oak in Relation to Water Yield by ChaparralThe root system of shrub live oak (Quercus turbinella) was studied in an initial effort to classify the major Arizona chaparral shrubs as potential users of soil water based on root system characteristics. The root system was of the generalized type with a taproot, many deeply penetrating roots, and a strong lateral root system. Roots penetrated 21 feet to bedrock through cracks and fractures in the rocky regolith. A dense network of small surface laterals radiated from the root crown and permeated the upper foot of soil. Because of its root system, shrub live oak is well adapted to utilize both ephemeral surface soil moisture as well as deeply stored moisture. Emphasis is placed on the importance of a knowledge of the root systems of chaparral shrubs and depth of the regolith in planning vegetation conversions to increase water yield.