Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Special Publication Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2010
Publication Date: 5/6/2013
Citation: Logsdon, S.D. 2013. Root effects on soil properties and processes: Synthesis and future research needs. In: Timlin, D., Ahuja, L., editors. Enhancing understanding and quantification of soil-root growth interactions. Madison, WI: Soil Science Society of America. p. 173-196.
Technical Abstract: Since roots are the part of the plant often hidden from view, their importance can be overlooked. Roots perform vital functions for the plant such as uptake of water and nutrients from the soil and holding the plant in place. Roots can perform vital functions for society by contributing to carbon sequestration in the soil and by encouraging rhizosphere microbial activity to break down potentially toxic compounds in the soil. This review addresses how roots grow in structured soil, how roots create biopores and maintain fractures, the nature of the macropore wall when occupied by roots, root-soil contact when growing in existing macropores, compensatory root function, and how clustered roots are modeled. Other important issues to consider in the future are root function in biopores and fractures, root imaging using structured media, and root interaction with a shallow water table.