Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Roots and Uptake of Water and Nutrients

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-2493-6_195-3


Fibrous root system

root system formed by various root axis of similar size, typical of cereals.

Lateral roots

are the roots formed from the pericycle cells of other roots. The first-order laterals referrer to the roots emerging from the primary and secondary root axes. Second-order laterals emerge from the first-order laterals, third-order laterals from the second-order lateral, and so on. Usually lateral branching is limited to the fifth-order laterals.

Primary roots

often called seminal roots, are the first root axes to develop arising from the coleorhizae of the seed.


volume of soil immediately adjacent to plant roots (usually between 10 and 20 mm), which is affected by their growth, secretions, respiration, nutrient and water, and associated soil microorganisms.

Root architecture

describes the spatial configuration of the root system as a whole. Since it describes multiple root axes, it subsumes both topology and distribution.

Root cap

is the tissue that...

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Books and Reviews

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BioCity NottinghamAzotic Technologies LtdNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Division of Plant and Crop SciencesUniversity of NottinghamLoughboroughUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Roxana Savin
    • 1
  • Gustavo Slafer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Crop and Forest Sciences and AGROTECNIO, (Center for Research in Agrotechnology)University of LleidaLleidaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Crop and Forest SciencesUniversity of LleidaLleidaSpain