Imaging the root–rhizosphere interface using micro computed tomography: quantifying void ratio and root volume ratio profiles

Tomás Lascurain, Vasileios Angelidakis, Saimir Luli, Sadegh Nadimi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Root growth alters soil fabric and consequently its mechanical and physical properties. Recent studies show that roots induce compaction of soil in their immediate vicinity, a region that is central for plant health. However, high quality quantification of root influence on the soil fabric, able to inform computational models is lacking from the literature. This study quantifies the relationship between soil physical characteristics and root growth, giving special emphasis on how roots in early stage formation influence the physical architecture of the surrounding soil structure. High-resolution X-ray micro-Computed Tomography (µCT) is used to acquire three dimensional images of two homogeneously-packed samples. It is observed that the void ratio profile extending from the soil-root interface into the bulk soil is altered by root growth. The roots considerably modify the immediate soil physical characteristics by creating micro cracks at the soil-root interface and by increasing void ratio. This paper presents the mechanisms that led to the observed structure as well as some of the implications that it has in such a dynamic zone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11005
Number of pages4
JournalEPJ Web of Conferences
Volume249
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 07 Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes
EventPowders & Grains: 9th International Conference on Micromechanics on Granular Media 2021 - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Duration: 05 Jul 202106 Aug 2021

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