About this book
In the course of evolution, a great variety of root systems have learned to overcome the many physical, biochemical and biological problems brought about by soil. This development has made them a fascinating object of scientific study.
This volume gives an overview of how roots have adapted to the soil environment and which roles they play in the soil ecosystem. The text describes the form and function of roots, their temporal and spatial distribution, and their turnover rate in various ecosystems. Subsequently, a physiological background is provided for basic functions, such as carbon acquisition, water and solute movement, and for their responses to three major abiotic stresses, i.e. hard soil structure, drought and flooding. The volume concludes with the interactions of roots with other organisms of the complex soil ecosystem, including symbiosis, competition, and the function of roots as a food source.