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Effect of Root System Morphology on Root-sprouting and Shoot-rooting Abilities in 123 Plant Species from Eroded Lands in North-east Spain

AuthorsGuerrero Campo, Joaquín; Palacio, Sara ; Pérez-Rontomé, Carmen ; Montserrat-Martí, Gabriel
KeywordsRoot architecture
Root morphology
Root-borne shoots
Shoot-borne roots
Soil erosion
Functional strategies
Issue DateAug-2006
Oxford University Press
CitationAnnals of Botany 98(2): 439-447 (2006)
Abstract[Background and Aims]: The objective of this study was to test whether the mean values of several root morphological variables were related to the ability to develop root-borne shoots and/or shoot-borne roots in a wide range of vascular plants. [Methods]: A comparative study was carried out on the 123 most common plant species from eroded lands in north-east Spain. After careful excavations in the field, measurements were taken of the maximum root depth, absolute and relative basal root diameter, specific root length (SRL), and the root depth/root lateral spread ratio on at least three individuals per species. Shoot-rooting and root-sprouting were observed in a large number of individuals in many eroded and sedimentary environments. The effect of life history and phylogeny on shoot-rooting and root-sprouting abilities was also analysed. [Key Results]: The species with coarse and deep tap-roots tended to be root-sprouting and those with fine, fasciculate and long main roots (which generally spread laterally), tended to be shoot-rooting. Phylogeny had an important influence on root system morphology and shoot-rooting and root-sprouting capacities. However, the above relations stood after applying analyses based on phylogenetically independent contrasts (PICs). [Conclusions]: The main morphological features of the root system of the study species are related to their ability to sprout from their roots and form roots from their shoots. According to the results, such abilities might only be functionally viable in restricted root system morphologies and ecological strategies.
Description9 páginas, 4 figuras, 2 tablas.-- El PDF es la versión post-print.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcl122
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