I am not a member of the Soil Science Society of America, but I want to pass along the kinds of information it gives that can be of interest and help to all of us in our gardens.
February 1, 2021 – Plant roots modify soil in different ways – depending on the root’s architecture. This Soil Science Society of America’s (SSSA) February 1st Soils Matter Blog explores plant roots and how plants modify soil in substantive ways.
Blogger Jake Mowrer explains, “Plants modify soil. That is a fact. They spend a lot of energy doing it, and they do it to their own advantage. Organisms (which, of course, include plants) are even one of the five soil formation factors, along with climate, relief/topography, parent material, and time.”
The term “root architecture” can include physical arrangement of roots, number, thickness, length, depth, angles of branching, and distribution of root orders. The primary root is called the seminal root, and roots that branch off the seminal root are called the first order laterals. Roots that branch off from first order laterals are called second order laterals.
The portion of the soil most explored, the depth, and the lateral reach of a plant’s root system all affect how different plants physically modify soil in different ways. To learn more, read the entire blog: https://soilsmatter.
Photo: Nodules formed on the roots of a Fava Bean plant. These structures are necessary to protect the anaerobic activity of nitrogen fixing bacteria, which form a mutualistic symbiosis with the plant. Credit: Jake Mowrer
The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive, international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. It provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.
Follow SSSA on Facebook at SSSA.soils, and Twitter at SSSA_Soils. SSSA has soils information on www.soils.org/about-soils, for teachers at www.soils4teachers.org, and for students through 12th grade, www.soils4kids.org.