Relationships with fungi is a major factor in the growth of the roots

At the roots of the plants life time and the ability to absorb nutrients depends on what kind of relationship they are with mushrooms, reported in Science Advances. As if the plant chooses to produce the desired minerals using the roots or give this task to the mycelium of the fungus. These roots differ from leaves that grow in two scenarios: either many small short-lived leaves, large durable leaves that are long are rising. Choose one of two strategies in the case of the leaves is not associated with mushrooms.

Plants, as a rule, they create organic matter from inorganic. To do this they need carbon dioxide and water, and to maintain turgor (“water head”) cells and some other processes — and even mineral salts. Carbon dioxide the plants absorb from the air by the leaves, specifically through the stomata on their surface. It’s called the air diet. Water and dissolved salts of these organisms are absorbed by the roots (this is called mineral power), and not along their entire length, but only a few centimeters or millimeters closer to the tip, where the epithelial tissues of the root have not had time to harden.

Depending on the resource availability of plants form different amounts of leaves. There are two alternative strategies: to quickly form many small and probably short-lived leaves that for short period of time available to absorb carbon dioxide and thus not to allow water to evaporate from their surface, or slow to grow a large long-lived leaves, which will help to absorb a lot of carbon dioxide, but for a long time. These patterns have been known for several decades. However, for the roots they, apparently, do not work: while the data on their size and number did not show a definite connection with the availability of solutions of mineral salts of all kinds.

Experts on the biology of plants from several European countries and the United States headed by Joanou Bergman (Joana Bergmann) from the Free University of Berlin have used data from the GRooT (Global Root Traits) to identify the factors that affect the number, length, volume and life time of the plant roots. It was analyzed only the properties of those sections of rootsthat have neodrepanis veils and therefore able to absorb water. The analysis included data for 1810 species of gymnosperms and angiosperms. The researchers took into account the systematic position of plants, the predominant life form (tree, shrub, and so on), the percentage of roots forming mycorrhizae (related to mushrooms) or nodules for symbiosis with bacterial azotfiksatsii, type of mycorrhizae, as well as natural areas that inhabits this type.

It turned out that the mass and volume of roots (namely, they first determine how much water with dissolved mineral substances can absorb the body) depend little on life forms, the systematic position and nature of the habitats of the plants. In some cases a correlation is observed, similar to that observed for the leaves: many short-lived roots, mineral nutrition are only possible in a limited time (for example, if the area is a short rainy season, and the rest of the time dry).

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