Root–shoot responses during competition

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Root–shoot responses during competition
Root–shoot responses during competition

Plant competition studies are restricted by the difficulty of quantifying root systems of competitors. Robinson et al. apply a new approach in which the root systems are estimated from either the shoot weights or combined root weights of competitors, or via scaling exponents and allometric coefficients of log-regressions of root weight on shoot weight of isolated plants. Using two herbaceous species, Dactylis glomerata and Plantago lanceolata, as a model system, they find that, given reasonable assumptions, allometric modelling can analyse competitive interactions in any species mixture, and overcomes a long-standing problem in studies of competition.


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