Fine Root Soil Building

Fine roots with high specific root length drive long-term carbon sequestration deep in the soil profile, so I was interested to learn the following from a new paywalled paper.

  • Higher temperatures make roots shorter and thicker
  • Higher rainfall reduces root nitrogen concentration
  • Soil bulk density influences morphology and favours thicker, denser, fine-roots
  • Herbaceous roots are finer and longer than woody species and fix more nitrogen

Climate, soil and plant functional types as drivers of global fine-root trait variation

Supplemental pages also show a species graph that I don’t yet quite understand scale wise. I just assume for long fine roots we want a large white circle (fine?) for mean root diameter (MRD) and a large black (long?) one for specific root length (SRL). Also White (low?) root tissue density (RTD) and Black (high?) root nitrogen concentration (RNC). Fabaceae have very black RNC, but there are blacker. 🙂


or WHITE, WHITE, WHITE, BLACK if you only care about building the topsoil.

root trait.png


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