Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Bioengineering of soil profiles in semiarid ecosystems: the ‘phytotarium’ concept. A review

  • Review Paper
  • Published:
Plant and Soil Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

This review draws attention to information from the literature and our own observations supporting the view that higher plants and micro-organisms display an intrinsic capacity to be proactively involved in pedogenetic processes. ‘Bioengineering’ of this kind is deemed to be spearheaded by principal deep-rooted tree and shrub species and to result in optimisation of command and conservation of water and nutrients within an ecosystem. Specific examples discussed in the paper include, the formation of silicon- or iron-based linings of vertical channels and pores, binding of sand on roots, generation of organically derived hydrophobicity, development of clay-based hardpans and texture-contrast seals, precipitation of silcrete, calcrete and ferricrete pavements, effective accessing and conservation of P resources, including mining by microbes and the biological cycling of Si and Al via plants and micro-organisms. In each case, definitive roles and mechanisms are suggested for the organisms involved, particularly in relation to formative effects relating to secretion of organic acids, dispersing agents and other classes of exudate. We introduce the term ‘phytotarium’ to connote the collective outcomes of the above biotic influences in construction and maintenance of niches peculiar to specific vegetation types and then review the evidence of imprinting of soil profiles due to operation of phytotaria. Examples given relate to the lateral and vertical facies encountered in certain contemporary soil profiles and paleosols with which we are familiar and are described in a companion paper.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Ackert LT (2004) From the thermodynamics of life to ecological microbiology: Sergei Vinogradskii and the cycle of life, 1850–1950 (Russia). Dissertation, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

  • Adams MA (1996) Distribution of Eucalypts in Australian landscapes: landforms, soils, fire and nutrition. In: Attiwill PM, Adams MA (eds) The nutrition of Eucalypts. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, pp 61–76

    Google Scholar 

  • Allison GB, Hughes MW (1983) The use of natural tracers as indicators of soil–water movement in a temperate semi-arid region. J Hydrol 60:157–173

    Google Scholar 

  • Anand RR, Phang C, Wildman JE, Lintern MJ (1997) Genesis of some calcretes in the southern Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia: implications for mineral exploration. Aust J Earth Sci 44:87–103

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Banfield JF, Eggleton RA (1989) Apatite replacement and rare earth mobilization, fractionation and fixation during weathering. Clays Clay Miner 37:113–127

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Barker WW, Welch SA, Banfield JF (1997) Biogeochemical weathering of silicate minerals. In: Banfield JF, Nealson KH (eds) Geomicrobiology: interactions between microbes and minerals. Mineralogical Society of America, Washington

    Google Scholar 

  • Basile-Doelsch I, Meunier JD, Parron C (2005) Another continental pool in the terrestrial silicon cycle. Nature 433:399–402

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Beadle NCW (1954) Soil phosphate and the delimitation of plant communities in eastern Australia. Ecology 35:370–375

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Beadle NCW (1962) An alternate hypothesis to account for the generally low phosphate content of Australian soils. Aust J Agric Res 13:434–442

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bell TL, Pate JS (2001) Wood anatomy of cohabiting taxa of different life and growth forms: significance in terms of fire response and water relations. Phytomorphology Golden Jubilee Issue

  • Berger TW, Köllensperger G, Wimmer R (2004) Plant–soil feedback in spruce (Picea abies) and mixed spruce-beech (Fagus sylvatica) stands as indicated by dendrochemistry. Plant Soil 264:69–83

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Blakemore LC, Searle PL, Daly BK (1981) Methods for chemical analysis of soils. New Zealand Soil Bureau, scientific report 10A

  • Bloomfield C (1954) The deflocculation of kaolin by tree leaf leachates. In: Transactions of the 5th international congress of soil science, Leopoldville, Congo

  • Bocquier G, Boulange B, Ildefonse P, Nahon D, Muller D (1983) Transfers, accumulation modes, mineralogical transformations and complexity of historical developments in lateritic profiles. In: Melfi AJ, Carvalho A (eds) Proceedings of the 2nd international seminar on lateritisation processes, Sao Paulo, 1982, pp 15–52

  • Bowen BJ, Pate JS (1991) Adaptations of S.W. Australian members of the Proteaceae; allocation of resources during early growth. In: Proceedings of international Protea conference, Perth, Western Australia. Promaco Conventions Pty Ltd, Perth, Western Australia

  • Braissant O, Verrecchia EP, Aragno M (2002) Is the contribution of bacteria to terrestrial carbon budget greatly underestimated?. Naturwissenschaften 89:366–370

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Braissant O, Cailleau G, Aragno M, Verrecchia EP (2004) Biologically induced mineralization in the tree Milicia excelsa (Moraceae): its causes and consequences to the environment. Geobiology 2:59–66

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Brinkman R (1970) Ferrolysis, a hydromorphic soil forming process. Geoderma 3:199–206

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Brinkman R (1977) Surface-water gley soils in Bangladesh: genesis. Geoderma 17:111–144

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Brooks JR, Meinzer C, Coulombe R, Gregg J (2002) Hydraulic redistribution of soil water during summer drought in two contrasting Pacific Northwest coniferous forests. Tree Physiol 22:1107–1117

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Brundrett MC (1991) Mycorrhizas in natural ecosystems. Adv Ecol Res 21:171–313

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brundrett MC, Abbott LK (2002) Arbuscular mycorrhizas in plant communities. In: Sivasithamparam K, Dixon KW, Barrett RL (eds) Micro-organisms in plant conservation and biodiversity. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp 151–194

    Google Scholar 

  • Brundrett MC, Cairney JWG (2002) Ectomycorrhizas in plant communities. In: Sivasithamparam K, Dixon KW, Barrett RL (eds) Micro-organisms in plant conservation and biodiversity. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp 105–150

    Google Scholar 

  • Burgess SSO, Adams MA, Turner NC, Ong CK (1998) The redistribution of soil water by tree root systems. Oecologia 115:306–311

    Google Scholar 

  • Burgess SSO, Pate JS, Adams MA, Dawson TE (2000) Seasonal water acquisition and redistribution in the Australian woody phreatophyte, Banksia prionotes. Ann Bot (Lond) 85:215–224

    Google Scholar 

  • Burgess SSO, Adams MA, Turner NC, White DA, Ong CK (2001) Tree roots: conduits for deep recharge of soil water. Oecologia 126:158–165

    Google Scholar 

  • Butt CRM (1983) Aluminosilicate cementation of saprolites, grits and silcretes in Western Australia. J Geol Soc Aust 30:179–186

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Buurman P, Jongmans AG (2002) Podzolization—an additional paradigm. Edafologia 9:107–114

    Google Scholar 

  • Caldwell MM, Richards JH (1989) Hydraulic lift water efflux from upper roots improves effectiveness of water uptake by deep roots. Oecologia 79:1–5

    Google Scholar 

  • Charley JL, Richards BN (1977) Mineral cycling in rain forests. In: General principles of nutrient cycling; losses and gains in mineral cycling and dynamic equilibria, issue 2. National Parks and Wildlife Service, New South Wales

  • Charley JL, Richards BN (1983) Nutrient allocation in plant communities: mineral cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. In: Lange OL, Nobel PS, Osmond CB, Ziegler H (eds) Physiological plant ecology. Ecosystem processes: mineral cycling, productivity and man’s influence, vol IV. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 5–45

    Google Scholar 

  • Chartres CJ (1985) A preliminary investigation of hardpan horizons in north-west New South Wales. Aust J Soil Res 23:325–337

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Chittleborough DJ (1992) Formation and pedology of duplex soils. Aust J Exp Agric 32:815–825

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Clarke J (2003) The occurrence and significance of biogenic opal in the regolith. Earth Sci Rev 60:175–194

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Dawson TE (1993) Hydraulic lift and water use by plants: implications for water balance, performance and plant–plant interactions. Oecologia 95:565–574

    Google Scholar 

  • Derry LA, Kurtz AC, Ziegler K, Chadwick OA (2005) Biological control of terrestrial silica cycling and export fluxes to watersheds. Nature 433:728–731

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Drees LR, Wilding LP, Smeck NE, Senkayi AL (1989) Silica in soils: quartz and disordered silica polymorphs. In: Dixon JB, Weed SB (eds) Minerals in soil environments, 2nd edn. Soil Science Society of America, Madison, pp 913–974

    Google Scholar 

  • Durgin PB, Chaney JG (1984) Dispersion of kaolinite by dissolved organic matter from Douglas-fir roots. Can J Soil Sci 64:445–455

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Esteban M (1974) Caliche textures and microcodium. Bull Soc Geol Ital 92:105–125

    Google Scholar 

  • FAO (1998) The world reference base for soil resources (WRB). World soil resources report no. 84. Food and Agriculture Organisation for the United Nations, Rome

    Google Scholar 

  • Farmer VC, Lumsden DG (2001) Interactions of fulvic acid with aluminium and a proto-imogolite sol: the contribution of E-horizon eluates to podzolization. Eur J Soil Sci 52:177–188

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Farmer VC, Fraser AR, Robertson L, Sleeman JR (1984) Proto-imogolite allophane in podzol concretions in Australia: a possible relationship to aluminous ferralitic (lateritic) cementation. J Soil Sci 35:333–340

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ferris FG (1997) Formation of authigenic minerals by bacteria. In: Groat L, McIntosh JM (eds) Mineralogical Association of Canada, short course on biological–mineralogical interactions, vol 25. Mineralogical Association of Canada, pp 187–208

  • Fookes G (1997) Tropical residual soils. A Geological Society Engineering Group Working Party revised report. Geological Society, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Foulds W (1993) Nutrient concentration of foliage and soil in South-Western Australia. New Phytol 125:529– 546

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Frenkel H, Goertzen JO, Rhoades JD (1978) Effects of clay type and content, exchangeable sodium percentage and electrolyte concentration on clay dispersion and soil hydraulic conductivity. Soil Sci Soc Am J 42:32–39

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Frith JL (1985) Dam site selection in the north-eastern wheatbelt. J West Aust Dep Agric 26:89–93

    Google Scholar 

  • Garkaklis GJ, Bradley JS, Wooller RD (1998) The effects of woylie (Bettongia penicillata) foraging on soil water repellency and water infiltration in heavy textured soils in southwestern Australia. Aust J Ecol 23:492–496

    Google Scholar 

  • Gilkes RJ, Hughes JC (1994) Sodium fluoride pH of South-Western Australian soils as an indicator of P-sorption. Aust J Soil Res 32:755–766

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Glassford DK, Semeniuk V (1995) Desert-aeolian origin of late Cenozoic regolith and arid and semi-arid south-western Australia. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 114:131–166

    Google Scholar 

  • Goudie AS (1983) Calcrete. In: Goudie AS, Pye K (eds) Chemical sediments and geomorphology: precipitates and residua in the near-surface environments. Academic, San Diego, pp 59–92

    Google Scholar 

  • Grigg AM, Pate JS, Unkovich MJ (2000) Responses of native woody taxa in Banksia woodland to incursion of groundwater and nutrients from bordering agricultural land. Aust J Bot 48:777–792

    Google Scholar 

  • Hill RS (1998) Fossil evidence for the onset of xeromorphy and scleromorphy in Australian Proteaceae. Aust Syst Bot 11:391–400

    Google Scholar 

  • Hingston FJ (1963) Activity of polyphenolic constituents of leaves of Eucalyptus and other species in complexing and dissolving iron oxide. Aust J Soil Res 1:63–73

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hinsinger P (1998) How do plant roots acquire mineral nutrients? Chemical processes involved in the rhizosphere. Adv Agron 64:225–265

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hinsinger P, Plassard C, Tang C, Jaillard B (2003) Origins of root-mediated pH changes in the rhizosphere and their responses to environmental constraints: a review. Plant Soil 248:43–59

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Holland TH (1903) On the constitution, origin and dehydration of laterite. Geol Mag 40:59–69

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Horton JL, Hart SC (1998) Hydraulic lift—a potentially important ecosystem process. Trends Ecol Evol 13:232–235

    Google Scholar 

  • Hubble GD, Isbell RF, Northcote KH (1983) Features of Australian soils. In: Soils an Australian viewpoint. CSIRO Division of Soils, Melbourne, pp 17–47

  • Hunt PA, Mitchell PB, Paton TR (1977) Laterite profiles and lateritic ironstones on the Hawkesbury Sandstone, Australia. Geoderma 19:105–121

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Isbell RF, Reeve R, Hutton JT (1983) Salt and sodicity. In: Soils: an Australian viewpoint. CSIRO Division of Soils, Melbourne, pp 107–117

  • Jenny H (1941) Factors of soil formation. McGraw-Hill Publishers, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Jenny H, Smith GD (1935) Colloid transport aspects of clay pan formation in soil profiles. Soil Sci 39:377–379

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jeschke WD, Pate JS (1995) Mineral nutrition and transport in xylem and phloem of Banksia Prionotes (Proteaceae), a tree with dimorphic root morphology. J Exp Bot 46:895–905

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jones DL (1998) Organic acids in the rhizosphere: a critical review. Plant Soil 205:25–44

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jones DL, Dennis PG, Owen AG, van Hees PAW (2003) Organic acid behaviour in soils—misconceptions and knowledge gaps. Plant Soil 248:31–41

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Klappa CF (1978) Biolithogenesis of microcodium: elucidation. Sedimentology 25:489–522

    Google Scholar 

  • Klappa CF (1979) Calcified filaments in Quaternary calcretes: organo-mineral interactions in the subaerial vadose environment. J Sediment Petrol 49:955–968

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Krumbein WE (1968) Geomicrobiology and geochemistry of the “Nari-Lime-Crust“ (Israel). In: Müller G, Friedman GM (eds) Recent developments in carbonate sedimentology in Central Europe. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 138–147

    Google Scholar 

  • Lambers H, Juniper D, Cawthray GR, Veneklaas EJ, Martinez E (2002) The pattern of carboxylate exudation in Banksia grandis (Proteaceae) is affected by the form of phosphate added to the soil. Plant Soil 238:111–122

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Lee SY, Gilkes RJ (2005) Groundwater geochemistry and composition of hardpans in southwestern Australian regolith. Geoderma 126:59–84

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Little DA, Welch SA, Field JB (2004) The life and times of tree roots: preliminary results for root-mediated weathering in the rhizosphere. In: SuperSoil 2004, the 3rd Australian New Zealand soils conference, University of Sydney, Australia

  • Lucas Y (2001) The role of plants in controlling rates and products of weathering: importance of biological pumping. Annu Rev Earth Planet Sci 29:135–163

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Lundstrom US, van Breemen N, Bain DC, van Hees PAW, Giesler R, Gustafsson JP, Ilvesniemi H, Karltun E, Melkerud PA, Olsson M, Riise G, Wahlberg O, Bergelin A, Bishop K, Finlay R, Jongmans AG, Magnusson T, Mannerkoski H, Nordgren A, Nyberg L, Starr M, Tau Strand L (2000) Advances in understanding the podzolization process resulting from a multidisciplinary study of three coniferous forest soils in the Nordic Countries. Geoderma 94:335–353

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Mappin KA, Pate JS, Bell TL (2003) Productivity and water relations of burnt and long unburnt semiarid shrubland in Western Australia. Plant Soil 257:321–340

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • McFarlane MJ (1983a) Laterites. In: Goudie AS, Pye K (eds) Chemical sediments and geomorphology: precipitates and residua in the near-surface environment. Academic, London, pp 7–58

    Google Scholar 

  • McFarlane MJ (1983b) The temporal distribution of bauxitisation and its genetic implications. In: Melfi AJ, Carvalho A (eds) Lateritisation processes, proceedings of the 2nd international seminar, pp 197–207

  • McFarlane MJ (1987) The key role of micro-organisms in the process of bauxitisation. Mod Geol 11:325–344

    Google Scholar 

  • McFarlane MJ, Bowden DJ (1992) Mobilisation of aluminium in the weathering profiles of the African surface in Malawi. Earth Surf Process Landforms 17:789–805

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • McGhie DA, Posner AM (1980) Water repellence of a heavy textured Western Australian surface soil. Aust J Soil Res 18:309–323

    Google Scholar 

  • McGhie DA, Posner AM (1981) The effect of plant top material on water repellence of fired sands and water repellent soil. Aust J Agric Res 32:609–620

    Google Scholar 

  • Milnes AR, Hutton JT (1983) Calcretes in Australia. In: Soil: an Australian viewpoint. CSIRO Division of Soils, Melbourne, pp 119–162

  • Milnes AR, Twidale CR (1983) An overview of silicification in Cainozoic landscapes of arid Central and Southern Australia. Aust J Soil Res 21:387–410

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Monger HC, Kelly EG (2002) Silica minerals. In: Dixon JB, Schulze DG (eds) Soil mineralogy with environmental applications. Soil Science Society of America Book Series No. 7, Madison, pp 611–636

    Google Scholar 

  • Morton LS, Evans CV, Estes GO (2002) Natural uranium and thorium distributions in podzolized soils and native blueberry. J Environ Qual 31:155–162

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Nulsen RA, Bligh KJ, Baxter IN, Solin EJ, Imrie DH (1986) The fate of rainfall in a mallee and heath vegetated catchment in southern Western Australia. Aust J Ecol 11:361–371

    Google Scholar 

  • Ollier CD, Chan RA, Craig MA, Gibson DL (1988) Aspects of landscape history and regolith in Kalgoorlie region, Western Australia. BMR J Aust Geol Geophys 10:309–321

    Google Scholar 

  • Pate JS (1994) The mycorrhizal association—just one of the many nutrient-acquiring specialisations in natural ecosystems. Plant Soil 159:1–10

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pate JS, Bell TL (1999) Application of the ecosystem mimic concept to the species-rich Banksia woodlands of Western Australia. Agrofor Syst 45:303–341

    Google Scholar 

  • Pate JS, Dawson TE (1999) Assessing the performance of woody plants in uptake and utilisation of carbon, water and nutrients—implications for designing agricultural mimic systems. Agrofor Syst 45:245–275

    Google Scholar 

  • Pate JS, Dell B (1984) Economy of mineral nutrients in sandplain species. In: Pate JS, Beard JS (eds) Kwongan—plant life of the sandplain. University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands, pp 227–252

    Google Scholar 

  • Pate JS, Dixon KW (1996) Convergence and divergence in the southwestern Australian flora in adaptations of roots to limited availability of water and nutrients, fire and heat stress. In: Hopper SD et al (eds) Gondwanan heritage: past, present and future of the Western Australian Biota. Surrey Beaty and Sons, Chipping Norton

    Google Scholar 

  • Pate JS, Watt M (2002) Roots of Banksia species (Proteaceae) with special reference to functioning of their specialised proteoid root clusters. In: Waisel Y, Eshel A, Kafjafi U (eds) Plant roots the hidden half. Marcel Dekker Inc., New York, pp 989–1006

    Google Scholar 

  • Pate JS, Dixon KW, Orshan G (1984) Growth and life form characteristics of kwongan species. In: Pate JS, Beard JS (eds) Kwongan—plant life of the sandplain. University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands, pp 84–100

    Google Scholar 

  • Pate JS, Rasins E, Rullo J, Kuo J (1986) Seed nutrient reserves of Proteaceae with special reference to protein bodies and their inclusions. Ann Bot 57:747–770

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pate JS, Davidson NJ, Kuo J, Milburn JA (1990) Water relations of the root hemiparasite Olax phyllanthi (Labill) R. Br. (Olacaceae) and its multiple hosts. Oecologia 84:186–193

    Google Scholar 

  • Pate JS, Jeschke WD, Aylward MJ (1995) Hydraulic architecture and xylem structure of the dimorphic root system of S.W. Australian tree-species of Proteaceae. J Exp Bot 46:907–915

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pate JS, Shedley E, Arthur D, Adams M (1998) Spatial and temporal variations in phloem sap composition of plantation-grown Eucalyptus globulus. Oecologia 117:312–322

    Google Scholar 

  • Pate JS, Verboom WH, Galloway PD (2001) Co-occurrence of Proteaceae, laterite and related oligotrophic soils: coincidental associations or causative inter-relationships?. Aust J Bot 49:529–560

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Paton TR, Humphreys GS, Mitchell PB (1995) Soils: a global view. UCL, London, p 213

    Google Scholar 

  • Peck AJ (1978) Salinisation of non-irrigated soils and associated streams. Aust J Soil Res 16:157–168

    Google Scholar 

  • Phillips SE, Self PG (1987) Morphology, crystallography and origin of needle-fibre calcite in Quaternary pedogenic calcretes of South Australia. Aust J Soil Res 25:429–444

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Phillips SE, Milnes AR, Foster RC (1987) Calcified filaments: an example of biological influences in the formation of calcrete in South Australia. Aust J Soil Res 25:405–428

    Google Scholar 

  • Pressland AJ (1976) Soil moisture redistribution as affected by throughfall and stemflow in an arid zone shrub community. Aust J Bot 24:641–649

    Google Scholar 

  • Quirk JP, Schofield RK (1955) The effect of electrolyte concentration on soil permeability. J Soil Res 6:163–178

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • van Ranst E, De Coninck F (2002) Evaluation of ferrolysis in soil formation. Eur J Soil Sci 53:513–520

    Google Scholar 

  • Rayment GE, Higginson FR (1992) Australian laboratory handbook of soil and water chemical methods—Australian soil and land survey handbook. Inkata, Melbourne

    Google Scholar 

  • Rengasamy P (2002) Transient salinity and subsoil constraints to dryland farming in Australian sodic soils: an overview. Aust J Exp Agric 42:351–361

    Google Scholar 

  • Sadlier SB, Gilkes RJ (1973) Development of bauxite in relation to parent material near Jarrahdale, Western Australia. J Geol Soc Aust 23:333–344

    Google Scholar 

  • Samadi A, Gilkes RJ (1998) Forms of phosphorus in virgin and fertilised calcareous soils of Western Australia. Aust J Soil Res 36:585–602

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Samadi A, Gilkes RJ (1999) Phosphorus transformations and their relationships with calcareous soil properties of southern Western Australia. Am J Soil Sci 63:809–815

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Schulze D, Caldwell MM, Canadel J, Mooney HA, Jackson RB, Parson D, Scholes R, Sala OE, Trimborn P (1998) Downward flux of water through roots (i.e. inverse hydraulic lift) in dry Kalahari sands. Oecologia 115:460–462

    Google Scholar 

  • Shane MW, Lambers H (2005) Cluster roots: a curiosity in context. Plant Soil 274:101–125

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Shainberg I, Caiserman A (1971) Studies on Na/Ca montmorillonite systems: II. The hydraulic conductivity. Soil Sci 111:276–281

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Silverman MP (1979) Biological and organic chemical decomposition of silicates. In: Trudinger PA, Swaine DJ (eds) Studies in environmental science: the bio-geochemical cycling of mineral-forming elements. Elsevier, New York, pp 445–465

    Google Scholar 

  • Slatyer RO (1965) Measurements of precipitation interception by an arid zone plant community (Acacia aneura F. Muell.). Arid Zone Res 25:181–192

    Google Scholar 

  • Smart DR, Carlisle E, Goebel M, Nunez BA (2005) Transverse hydraulic redistribution by a grapevine. Plant Cell Environ 28:157–166

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith DM, Jackson NA, Roberts JM, Ong CK (1999) Reverse flow of sap in tree roots and downward siphoning of water by Grevillea robusta. Funct Ecol 13:256–264

    Google Scholar 

  • Specht RL (1957) Dark Island Heath (Ninety Mile Plain, South Australia). IV. Soil moisture patterns produced by rainfall interception and stemflow. Aust J Bot 5:137–150

    Google Scholar 

  • Stace HCT, Hubble GD, Brewer R, Northcote KH, Sleeman JR, Mulcahy MJ, Hallsworth EG (1968) A handbook of Australian soils. Rellim Technical Publications, Glenside, South Australia

    Google Scholar 

  • Summerfield MA (1983) Silcrete. In: Goudie AS, Pye K (eds) Chemical sediments and geomorphology. Academic, London, pp 59–91

    Google Scholar 

  • Tazaki K (2005) Microbial formation of a halloysite-like mineral. Clays Clay Miner 53:224–233

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Twidale CR (1983) Australian laterites and silcretes: ages and significance. Rev Geol Dyn Geogr Phys 24:35–45

    Google Scholar 

  • Verboom WH, Pate JS (2003) Relationships between cluster root-bearing taxa and laterite across landscapes in south west Western Australia: an approach using airborne radiometric and digital elevation models. Plant Soil 248:321–333

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Verboom WH, Pate JS (2006) Evidence of active biotic influences in Pedogenalic processes. Case studied from semiarid ecosystems, DOI 10.1007/s11104-006-9075-6

  • Visser SA, Caillier M (1988) Observations on the dispersion and aggregation of clays by humic substances. I. Dispersive effects of humic acids. Geoderma 42:331–337

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wild A (1958) The phosphate content of Australian soils. Aust J Agric Res 9:193–204

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Wildy DT, Pate JS (2002) Quantifying above- and below-ground growth responses of Western Australian oil mallee Eucalyptus kochii subsp. plenissima, to contrasting decapitation regimes. Ann Bot 90:185–197

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Wildy DT, Pate JS, Bartle JR (2004) Budgets of water use by Eucalyptus kochii tree belts in semi-arid wheatbelt of Western Australia. Plant Soil 262:129–149

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Woolnough WG (1927) The chemical criteria of peneplanation (part I); The duricrust of Australia (part II). J␣Proc R Soc NSW 61:17–53

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

In our earlier review (Pate et al. 2001), we gathered information showing that laterite and podzol generation in south-west Western Australia may have arisen from niche-building activity of cluster-root bearing taxa. Since then many colleagues have pointed out interesting work that we should have referred to or which has been undertaken since the review was written. In this regard we are particularly grateful to Neil McKenzie, Hans Lambers, Mehrooz Aspandar, Jim Charley, Paul Galloway and Peter DeBroekert. Alicia Gardner helped with preparation of the references and some of the figures. The Chemistry Centre performed and contributed to the costs of the analyses presented in Table 2 and we thank David Allen for facilitating this service.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to W. H. Verboom.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Verboom, W.H., Pate, J.S. Bioengineering of soil profiles in semiarid ecosystems: the ‘phytotarium’ concept. A review. Plant Soil 289, 71–102 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-006-9073-8

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-006-9073-8

Keywords

Navigation