Chalmers Conferences, 9th European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology

Soil-Root Interactions : Observations and modeling with a specific focus on water uptake
Claude Doussan

Last modified: 2014-06-09


A wide and complex range of physico-chemical processes occurs in the vicinity of the roots in the rhizosphere. Due to growth and their exchanges with the surrounding soil  (e.g. water and nutrients absorption, respiration and gas exchange, exudation of various compounds ... ) , the roots may change , at least locally, physico-chemical conditions of the soil environment. On the other hand, the roots are facing very heterogeneous soil conditions, both in space and time, affecting their functioning and the colonization of soil. From insights in the literature and from some of our results, we first rapidly describe the complexity and heterogeneity of interactions through examples related to soil structure, its chemical properties or activity of the microflora. In this context, we then examine how a modeling approach of soil-root interactions can help to better integrate existing knowledge. This will be illustrated through the functional modeling of the architecture of root systems which helps in integrating at the root system scale of both the soil and plant processes involved water-nutrient uptake while taking explicitly into account the activity and local interactions at the single root scale.