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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A Comparison of 3 Computer Based Root Diameter Measurement Systems – Efficacy with Diameters Less Than 0.5 Mm

item Zobel, Richard

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 17, 2005
Publication Date: November 10, 2005
Citation: Zobel, R.W. 2005. A comparison of 3 computer based root diameter measurement systems – efficacy with diameters less than 0.5 mm. American Society of Agronomy Annual Meetings, Salt Lake City, UT. November 6-10, 2005. Abstracts CD.

Technical Abstract: We hypothesize that: When plant root systems are challenged with nutrient deficiencies, the root system responds by increasing the total length of the finest roots relative to total root length (as predicted with SRL [specific root length] analysis). Testing this hypothesis with Orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) requires a minimum resolution of 75 p mm-1 (75 pixels mm-1, about 2000 dpi). We developed both digital camera and scanner systems that can handle 100 p mm-1. When we analyzed orchardgrass images, we found that one of the major computerized root analysis systems introduced artifacts into the results when used at scanning resolutions above 25 p mm-1 (>600 dpi). These artifacts are present at lower resolutions, but of little consequence. In light of this result, five different computer based systems were evaluated. A comparison of three of these will be presented.

Last Modified: 4/18/2015
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