Louise H. Comas

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Geneticists and breeders are positioned to breed plants with root traits that improve productivity under drought. However, a better understanding of root functional traits and how traits are related to whole plant strategies to increase crop productivity under different drought conditions is needed. Root traits associated with maintaining plant productivity(More)
Ephemeral roots have essential roles in plant and ecosystem functioning. In forests, roots account for a major component of carbon cycling, yet few studies have examined ranges of root trait variation and how different species vary in root form and function in these communities. Root branching intensity, specific root length (SRL; root length per unit dry(More)
Root traits vary enormously among plant species but we have little understanding of how this variation affects their functioning. Of central interest is how root traits are related to plant resource acquisition strategies from soil. We examined root traits of 33 woody species from northeastern US forests that form two of the most common types of mutualisms(More)
Below-ground carbon allocation represents a substantial fraction of net photosynthesis in plants, yet timing of below-ground allocation and endogenous and exogenous factors controlling it are poorly understood. Minirhizotron techniques were used to examine root populations of Vitis labruscana Bailey cv. Concord under two levels of dormant-season canopy(More)
BACKGROUND AND AIMS Examination of plant growth below ground is relatively scant compared with that above ground, and is needed to understand whole-plant responses to the environment. This study examines whether the seasonal timing of fine root growth and the spatial distribution of this growth through the soil profile varies in response to canopy(More)
ectomycorrhizal community change over a nitrogen deposition gradient in Alaska. Ecology 83: 104–115. Lumbsch HT, Buchanan PK, May TW, Mueller GM. 2008. Phylogeography and biogeography of fungi. Mycological Research 112: 423–424. Matheny PB, Aime MC, Bougher NL, Buyck B, Desjardin DE, Horak E, Kropp BR, Lodge DJ, Soytong K, Trappe JM et al. 2009. Out of the(More)
BACKGROUND AND AIMS Interactions between roots and soil microbes are critical components of below-ground ecology. It is essential to quantify the magnitude of root trait variation both among and within species, including variation due to plasticity. In addition to contextualizing the magnitude of plasticity relative to differences between species, studies(More)
PREMISE OF THE STUDY Plant phenology influences resource utilization, carbon fluxes, and interspecific interactions. Although controls on aboveground phenology have been studied to some degree, controls on root phenology are exceptionally poorly understood. METHODS We used minirhizotrons to examine the timing of grape root production over 5 yr in(More)