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Carbon Cost of Root Systems - an Architectural Approach

Authors:

Nielsen, K.; Lynch, J.; Jablokow, A.; Curtis, P.

Source:

PLANT AND SOIL, Volume 165, Issue 1, p.161-169 (1994)

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Abstract:

Root architecture is an important component of nutrient uptake and may be sensitive to carbon allocational changes brought about by rising CO2. We describe a deformable geometric model of root growth, SimRoot, for the dynamic morphological and physiological simulation of root architectures. Using SimRoot, and measurements of root biomass deposition, respiration and exudation, carbon/phosphorus budgets were developed for three contrasting root architectures. Carbon allocation patterns and phosphorus acquisition efficiencies were estimated for Phaseolus vulgaris seedlings with either a dichotomous, herringbone, or empirically determined bean root architecture. Carbon allocation to biomass, respiration, and exudation varied significantly among architectures. Root systems also varied in the relationship between C expenditure and P acquisition, providing evidence for the importance of architecture in nutrient acquisition efficiency