Roots represent a quarter of Earth’s vegetation on average
IntroductionThe deep unknown
IntroductionRoot vs. shoot
So, we wondered: How much does a tree need to develop below ground to meet its needs? Is the proportion of aerial biomass (the shoot) to root the same for any kind of vegetation? Does root development depend more on plant species or environmental conditions?
In the publication presented here we studied the root-to-shoot ratio in trees, shrubs, and grasses, in locations all over the globe to highlight the drivers of root development.
MethodA new vegetation model predicting below-ground biomass
ResultsGeographic dependence of root-to-shoot ratio
ResultsTemperature and water availability drive root development
ResultsSoil characteristics indirectly affect roots spreading
ConclusionA ratio that matters
Conclusion A new model to improve our predictions about climate change