Submitted to: Complete Book
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2005
Publication Date: 2/28/2006
Citation: McMichael, B.L., Zak, J.C. 2006. The role of rhizotrons and minirhizotrons in evaluating the dynamics of rhizoplane-rhizosphere microflora. In: Mukerji, K.G., Singh, J., editors. Soil Biology. 1st edition. Germany: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. p. 71-84.
Interpretive Summary: No summary required
Technical Abstract: The methods used to evaluate the dynamics of plant root development have ranged from using trenching techniques to extraction of coil cores and more recently transparent wall techniques which include both rhizotrons and minirhizotrons. Both rhizotrons and minirhizotrons have been used to study changes in root length density, root surface area, root branching, and root turnover. The growth of root systems in conjunction with microbial activity, such as mycorrhizal associations and soil borne pathogen activity, has been shown to have been successfully evaluated using both rhizotorns and minirhizotrons, although the minirhizotrons system has been the most widely used of the two methods. Both systems have also been used to measure changes in root surface phenomena (surface area, root color, etc.). Further work using these techniques should provide information critical to our understanding of the dynamics of the plant root-soil microflora association that can impact plant productivity.