Plant and Soil

, Volume 140, Issue 1, pp 145–149

A computer program for characterizing root system branching patterns

  • G. M. Berntson
Short Communication


A computer program is presented which measures the length, branching patterns and distribution of link length within a root system. The program skeletonizes digitized images of root systems, loads these images into a binary tree data structure and uses this data structure to characterize the root systems. Measurements of the root length and topological parameters of root systems of Senecio vulgaris made by hand and by computer program were linearly related, with r2 values greater than 0.99 in all cases.

Key words

binary tree branching patterns image analysis line-intersection root systems topology 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. M. Berntson
    • 1
  1. 1.Biological LaboratoriesHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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