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Root elongation in drying soil is generally limited by a combination of mechanical impedance and water stress. Relationships between root elongation rate, water stress (matric potential), and mechanical impedance (penetration resistance) are reviewed, detailing the interactions between these closely related stresses. Root elongation is typically halved in(More)
Root growth in the field is often slowed by a combination of soil physical stresses, including mechanical impedance, water stress, and oxygen deficiency. The stresses operating may vary continually, depending on the location of the root in the soil profile, the prevailing soil water conditions, and the degree to which the soil has been compacted. The(More)
BACKGROUND Plants form the base of the terrestrial food chain and provide medicines, fuel, fibre and industrial materials to humans. Vascular land plants rely on their roots to acquire the water and mineral elements necessary for their survival in nature or their yield and nutritional quality in agriculture. Major biogeochemical fluxes of all elements occur(More)
BACKGROUND Electrical capacitance, measured between an electrode inserted at the base of a plant and an electrode in the rooting substrate, is often linearly correlated with root mass. Electrical capacitance has often been used as an assay for root mass, and is conventionally interpreted using an electrical model in which roots behave as cylindrical(More)
Capacitance has been used as a non-destructive measure of root system size for 30 years. The equipment required is cheap and simple to apply in both field and laboratory. Good linear correlations have been reported between capacitance and root mass. A model by F. N. Dalton, predicting a linear relationship between these two variables, has become accepted(More)
Root hairs are a key trait for improving the acquisition of phosphorus (P) by plants. However, it is not known whether root hairs provide significant advantage for plant growth under combined soil stresses, particularly under conditions that are known to restrict root hair initiation or elongation (e.g. compacted or high-strength soils). To investigate(More)
Root distribution determines largely the zone of soil that roots have access to for water and nutrient uptake, and is of great importance especially if water and fertilizer input is restricted. Mechanical impedance is the major limitation to root elongation in many field soils. Until now, experiments have focused largely on the axial resistance to root(More)
Biomechanical properties of cereal root systems largely control both resistance to root lodging and their ability to stabilise soil. Abiotic stresses can greatly modify root system growth and form. In this paper the effect of waterlogging and moderate mechanical impedance on root biomechanics is studied for both lateral roots and the main axes of barley.(More)
There is an urgent need for simple rapid screens of root traits that improve the acquisition of nutrients and water. Temperate cereals produce rhizosheaths of variable weight, a trait first noted on desert species sampled by Tansley over 100 yr ago. This trait is almost certainly important in tolerance to abiotic stress. Here, we screened association(More)
Roots are important to plants for a wide variety of processes, including nutrient and water uptake, anchoring and mechanical support, storage functions, and as the major interface between the plant and various biotic and abiotic factors in the soil environment. Therefore, understanding the development and architecture of roots holds potential for the(More)