Plant and Soil

, Volume 239, Issue 1, pp 19–38

Modelling the interactions between water and nutrient uptake and root growth

  • Vanessa M. Dunbabin
  • Art J. Diggle
  • Zdenko Rengel
  • Robert van Hugten
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1014939512104

Cite this article as:
Dunbabin, V.M., Diggle, A.J., Rengel, Z. et al. Plant and Soil (2002) 239: 19. doi:10.1023/A:1014939512104

Abstract

A model of three-dimensional root growth has been developed to simulate the interactions between root systems, water and nitrate in the rooting environment. This interactive behaviour was achieved by using an external-supply/internal-demand regulation system for the allocation of endogenous plant resources. Data from pot experiments on lupins heterogeneously supplied with nitrate were used to test and parameterise the model for future simulation work. The model reproduced the experimental results well (R2 = 0.98), simulating both the root proliferation and enhanced nitrate uptake responses of the lupins to differential nitrate supply. These results support the use of the supply/demand regulation system for modelling nitrate uptake by lupins. Further simulation work investigated the local uptake response of lupins when nitrate was supplied to a decreasing fraction of the root system. The model predicted that the nitrate uptake activity of lupin roots will increase as the fraction of root system with access to nitrate decreases, but is limited to an increase of around twice that of a uniformly supplied control. This work is the first example of a modelled root system responding plastically to external nutrient supply. This model will have a broad range of applications in the study of the interactions between root systems and their spatially and temporally heterogeneous environment.

computer modelling N2 fixation nitrate uptake relative inflow resource partitioning root plasticity 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vanessa M. Dunbabin
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Art J. Diggle
    • 2
    • 3
  • Zdenko Rengel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert van Hugten
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Soil Science and Plant NutritionThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean AgricultureThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  3. 3.Western Australian Department of AgricultureAustralia

Personalised recommendations