Distributional adaptations of root systems in desert environments

TitleDistributional adaptations of root systems in desert environments
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1977
AuthorsLudwig JA
EditorMarshall J.K(ed.)
Conference NameThe Belowground Ecosystem: A Synthesis of Plant-associated Processes
Series TitleRange Science Series
VolumeRange Science Dept. No. 26
EditionNo. 26
Pagination85-90
Date Published1977
PublisherColorado State University
Call Number00185
Keywordsabstract, abstracts, conference, conference proceedings, conferences, proceeding, proceedings, root systems, shrub, root system, shrub, root:shoot ratios
AbstractEarly studies on the distribution patterns of root systems of desert plants are reexamined in view of recent IBP studies. Unpublished studies on root habits of desert plants in North America are used along with studies from other deserts of the world to support conclusions. Desert shrub species with the broadest local and geographical distribution have a generalized type of root system, where a tap root and lateral roots are both capable of extensive horizontal and vertical distribution. This appears to be an adaptation where these species can establish on the highly varied desert soils. However, this distribution adaptation is probably not unique to desert shrubs and thus is not a special adaptive mechanism for drought resistance. Other anatomical, morphological, and physiological adaptations exhibited by desert shrubs are probably of greater importance to their establishment and long-term survival.
Custom 1Fort Collins, Colorado