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Suboptimal availability of water and nutrients is a primary limitation to plant growth in terrestrial ecosystems. The acquisition of soil resources by plant roots is therefore an important component of plant fitness and agricultural productivity. Plant root systems comprise a set of phenes, or traits, that interact. Phenes are the units of the plant(More)
Suboptimal nitrogen (N) availability is a primary constraint for crop production in developing nations, while in rich nations, intensive N fertilization carries substantial environmental and economic costs. Therefore, understanding root phenes that enhance N acquisition is of considerable importance. Structural-functional modeling predicts that root(More)
Plant phenology, the timing of plant growth and development, is changing in response to global climate change. Changing temperature, soil moisture, nitrogen availability, light, and elevated CO(2) are all likely to affect plant phenology. Alteration of plant phenology by global climate change may alter the ability of plants to acquire soil resources (water(More)
Current plant phenotyping technologies to characterize agriculturally relevant traits have been primarily developed for use in laboratory and/or greenhouse conditions. In the case of root architectural traits, this limits phenotyping efforts, largely, to young plants grown in specialized containers and growth media. Hence, novel approaches are required to(More)
BACKGROUND AND AIMS Root cortical aerenchyma (RCA) increases water and nutrient acquisition by reducing the metabolic costs of soil exploration. In this study the hypothesis was tested that living cortical area (LCA; transversal root cortical area minus aerenchyma area and intercellular air space) is a better predictor of root respiration, soil exploration(More)
Low phosphorus availability (low P) often delays flowering and maturity in annual plants, while abiotic stress generally accelerates flowering and maturity. The utility of this response is unknown. We hypothesize that phenological delay in low P is beneficial by permitting more time for phosphorus acquisition and utilization. We grew seven genotypes of(More)
BACKGROUND AND AIMS Timing of reproduction is a key life-history trait that is regulated by resource availability. Delayed reproduction in soils with low phosphorus availability is common among annuals, in contrast to the accelerated reproduction typical of other low-nutrient environments. It is hypothesized that this anomalous response arises from the high(More)
Soils vary widely in mineral nutrient availability and physical characteristics, but the influence of this variability on plant responses to elevated CO2 remains poorly understood. As a first approximation of the effect of global soil variability on plant growth response to CO2, we evaluated the effect of CO2 on tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) grown in(More)
Place-based resource management, such as watershed or ecosystem management, is being promoted to replace the media-focused approach for achieving water quality protection. We monitored the agricultural area of a 740-ha watershed to determine the nature and scale of farm material transfers, N and P balances, and farmer decisions that influenced them. Using(More)
Suboptimal nitrogen (N) availability is a primary constraint for crop production in developing nations, while in rich nations, intensive N fertilization carries substantial environmental and economic costs. Therefore, understanding root phenes that enhance N acquisition is of considerable importance. Structural-functional modeling predicts that root(More)