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Como controlan la erosión las raíces de las plantas

La Ciencia y el Hombre 05/2010; XXIII(2).
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    ABSTRACT: Root morphology influences strongly plant/soil interactions. However, the complexity of root architecture is a major barrier when analysing many phenomena, e.g. anchorage, water or nutrient uptake. Therefore, we have developed a new approach for the representation and modelling of root architecture based on branching density. A general root branching density in a space of finite dimension was used and enabled us to consider various morphological properties. A root system model was then constructed which minimizes the difference between measured and simulated root systems, expressed with functions which map root density in the soil. The model was tested in 2D using data from Maritime pine Pinus pinaster Ait. structural roots as input. We showed that simulated and real root systems had similar root distributions in terms of radial distance, depth, branching angle and branching order. These results indicate that general density functions are not only a powerful basis for constructing models of architecture, but can also be used to represent such structures when considering root/soil interaction. These models are particularly useful in that they provide a local morphological characterization which is aggregated in a given unit of soil volume.
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