Root System Architecture: Analysis from Root Systems to Individual Roots
What is the root system architecture? Importance for functioning
The term “architecture” includes two important aspects of the root system: its shape and its structure.
The shape is the three-dimensional arrangement of roots that can be described through several geometrical criteria, as lateral root extension, root depth, or more thoroughly by the distribution of root length density throughout the soil.
The structure refers to the diversity of the components (roots) and their relationships. According to their age and position within the root system, roots have specific physiological characteristics and functions (Waisel and Eshel, 2002). The way they are distributed and connected to each other (i.e., the topology of the system) is usually specific and important for the functioning of the whole system (Fitter, 1987).
Water and mineral uptake, the main function of root systems, requires several steps which illustrate the role of the root system architecture: (1) during the soil-to-root...
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