Rhizosphere Image Gallery

Sequoia sempervirens

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WARNING: The bitmap (BMP) images are over 1 megabyte per image! Full-sized jpegs are usually only about 40 kilobytes. We recommend downloading jpegs unless you require the highest image quality.

SCALE: Unless otherwise noted, these images are two centimeters wide and just under one and a half centimeters tall. To estimate the dimensions of zoom images, compare to their corresponding wide-angle shot. A fully-zoomed image can represent an area of the soil a mere three millimeters wide and two millimeters tall!

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The scene aboveground

Site: UCSC campus nature reserve, near Baskin Engineering.

S. sempervirens, the coast redwood, is the tallest known tree. Old trees can attain heights of up to 100 meters. Underground images were collected from tubes buried in and around a clonal circle of redwood trees. This area was extensively logged, and the adolescent redwood trees in the reserve today grew from sucker shoots that sprouted around the stumps. For this reason, the redwoods often grow in rings. Since these trees are still using the ancient root system of their clonal "parent", we might expect the roots to be different from those in the redwood plantation at the UCSC arboretum.

The scene belowground

Red bulbous fungi-like structure. Or perhaps it is a hardened flow of sap from a root...we can't figure this one out! Notice the deep rooting channel in the background.

Zoom on red bulbous structure from above...notice the heavy mucilage on lower right of the red structure.

Full zoom on above.

Dark red root.

Here is a small soil arthropod. We saw this particular fellow frequently as we gathered images. Notice the sandy soil particles in the background.

This is another mystery! It appears to be a fungul fruiting body... possibly a sporocarp?

These dark red roots are a classic example of mature deep redwood roots.

Thick, red root-mat. Redwood roots tend to form dense horizons of roots in the shallow soil layers.

This is the upper portion of the root system from above (after a 3-frame vertical adjustment). This appears to be a rooting hot-spot.