Plant root morphology and nutrient uptake

S. A. Barber, M. Silberbush

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Root length and radius can influence nutrient uptake by plant roots growing in soil. Total nutrient uptake depends on root surface area, and the rate of increase and uptake per unit of root surface. In this chapter, the authors use root surface area and root radius data to evaluate the significance of root morphology in determining nutrient uptake under a variety of nutrient-crop-soil situations. Their knowledge of nutrient uptake by plant roots has led to its mathematical description with mechanistic mathematical models. These models aid in understanding the system as well as determining the significance of the parameters involved. Mechanistic mathematical models are useful research tools for evaluating the parameters that may be most significant in affecting growth of the plant. The effect of varying each of the parameters in the model can be determined with a sensitivity analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoots, Nutrient and Water Influx, and Plant Growth
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780891183150
ISBN (Print)9780891180821
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Crop yield
  • Mechanistic mathematical models
  • Nutrient uptake
  • Plant root morphology
  • Root radius
  • Sensitivity analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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