Robinson, D, Hodge, A, Griffiths, B S and Fitter, A H (1999) Plant root proliferation in nitrogen-rich patches confers competitive advantage. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. pp. 431-435. ISSN 1471-2954Full text available as:
Plants respond to environmental heterogeneity, particularly below ground, where spectacular root proliferations in nutrient-rich patches may occur. Such 'foraging' responses apparently maximize nutrient uptake and are now prominent in plant ecological theory. Proliferations in nitrogen-rich patches are difficult to explain adaptively, however. The high mobility of soil nitrate should limit the contribution of proliferation to N capture. Many experiments on isolated plants show only a weak relation between proliferation and N uptake. We show that N capture is associated strongly with proliferation during interspecific competition for finite, locally available, mixed N sources, precisely the conditions under which N becomes available to plants on generally infertile soils. This explains why N-induced root proliferation is an important resource-capture mechanism in N-limited plant communities and suggests that increasing proliferation by crop breeding or genetic manipulation will have a limited impact on N capture by well-fertilized monocultures.
|Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information:||Copyright © 1999 The Royal Society|
|Keywords:||morphological plasticity, nutrient patch, nutrient uptake, plant competition, root proliferation, PHOSPHATE-UPTAKE, NITRATE, SOIL, GROWTH, RATES, HETEROGENEITY, ACQUISITION, PLASTICITY, GRASSLAND, SYSTEM|
|Academic Units:||The University of York > Biology (York)|
|Depositing User:||Repository Officer|
|Date Deposited:||12 Jun 2006|
|Last Modified:||17 Oct 2013 14:40|