skip to main content

DOE PAGESDOE PAGES

Title: Introduction to a Virtual Issue on root traits

Plant traits – ‘morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochem-ical and phenological characteristics of plants and their organs’(Kattge et al., 2011) – are increasingly being harnessed byempiricists and modelers as a framework to understand patternsin the structure and function of specie s across the globe. Trait-basedecology, which emphasizes functional traits over the taxonomicalrelationships among organisms (Laliberte, 2017), promises toimprove generality, synthesis, and predictive ability across ecolog-ical scales (Shipley et al., 2016). Indeed, plant trait studies areincreasingly prominent in the literature: a simple Web of Sciencesearch on the term indicates a surge in publications from 2576during the three-year period from 1999 to 2001 to 13 234 in thethree-year period between 2014 and 2016. However, the mostcommon plant traits described in the literature relate to above -ground organs and their function, including leaf morphology,photosynthetic parameters, and above ground growth rate. Roottraits, particularly those of fine roots associated with criticalbelowground plant functions, are much less studied – they are, afterall, harder to measure and less likely to have a role in ecosystemmodels as they are encoded today. Although the TRY database ofplant traits (Kattge et al., 2011) has been a highly valuable resourcefor plant and ecosystem ecologists, < 1% of the data entries describefine-root functional traits.more » This glaring gap in our knowledge of thebelowground half of ecosystem function has led to a chorus of pleasin recent years for a stronger emphasis on the measurement andunderstanding of root traits (e.g . Bardgett et al., 2014).« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
New Phytologist
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 215; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0028-646X
Publisher:
Wiley
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
OSTI Identifier:
1361335
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1401307