Digging Deeper for Agricultural Resources, the Value of Deep Rooting
Publication: Trends in Plant Science
Recent studies have documented highly significant differences among current and potential crops, as well as genotypic differences, in the ability for deep rooting. Results have shown significant effects of deep roots on deep soil water and nutrient uptake. Technological improvements of nondestructive methods, such as rhizotron and image analysis based root observations, soil water sensors, and isotope tracers for uptake studies, allow combined and dynamic studies of root development and function. The quest for sustainable intensiﬁcation of crop production promotes the interest in understanding and exploiting the potential contribution by deeper soil layers. Deep layers may contribute to resource supply for crop growth, reducing losses to the environment and deep C sequestration to mitigate climate change.