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Annals of Botany
Vol.100 , No. ,2007; Pages:

Plant roots. Growth, activity and interaction with soils

F. Andrew Smith


It is (or should be) selfevident that life on Earth depends mainly on life in earth, and in this respect soil–plant interactions are of key importance. This book brings together areas that are still often compartmented into fields such as chemical and physical aspects of soil science (where plants are still sometimes regarded as a ‘black box’ of uncertain relevance), plant physiology (now sometimes re-badged as plant functional biology), and soil microbial ecology. Agricultural scientists have, of course, rarely been guilty of ignoring soil factors in relation to plant growth and productivity. Plant ecologists sometimes have, and to some of them it’s the soil that is the ‘black box’ when it comes to understanding plant population and community ecology. Models of the impacts of global climate change are increasingly including soil-based factors, for example carbon sequestration below-ground, and there is increasing awareness that as world climates change nutrient availability is likely to influence changes in plant populations and communities:
plants don’t just rely on water, light and CO2.

Keywords: plant physiology, soil microbial ecology,plant growth,Plant ecologists, global climate change, climate change.

Corresponding author:

E-mail: andrew.smith@adelaide.edu.au


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