Installation of the Minirhizotrons

This example is for an agroecasystem. Holes are drilled by an auger mounted on a tractor in the field plot at an angle of 20° from the vertical along the direction of the crop row. Holes are cleaned with a sharp-ended stainless steel tube of the same diameter as the outside of the polycarbonate tube. A minirhizotron is then driven into the hole to obtain an intimate tube-soil interface.

Enough minirhizotrons should be installed to enable one to obtain standard error estimates that are less than 10% of the mean. This usually requires between six and eight tubes to be installed per treatment (Cheng et al., 1990; Fahey et al., 1999; Pregitzer et al., 2002).

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