Sampling Strategies, Scaling, and Statistics uri icon

abstract

  • Many experiments aim to understand how some aspect of the aerial and soil environment of a plant influences its growth. Considerable biomass is often allocated to the root system, and it is the roots that absorb most nutrients and water (Russell 1977). The property of the root system which is most appropriate to measure depends on the objective of the experiment. Root length should be measured to calculate the inflow rate of water and nutrients (see Chaps. 6, 13, 14). Root dry mass indicates the carbon allocation to the root system. Branching patterns and the number and lengths of each class of root, together with the distribution of root diameters gives a more complete picture of root architecture, but requires a large investment of labour. Detailed information on root architecture may be of interest in constructing mathematical models of root growth (see Chap. 4), in comparing the structure and function of root systems of different species or genotypes (e.g. Fitter and Stickland 1991), and in evaluating root responses to environmental conditions (e.g. Robinson 1994)

publication date

  • 2000
  • 2000