The Effects of Nutrient Dynamics on Root Patch Choice

Hagai Shemesh, Adi Arbiv, Mordechai Gersani, Ofer Ovadia, Ariel Novoplansky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Plants have been recognized to be capable of allocating more roots to rich patches in the soil. We tested the hypothesis that in addition to their sensitivity to absolute differences in nutrient availability, plants are also responsive to temporal changes in nutrient availability. Different roots of the same Pisum sativum plants were subjected to variable homogeneous and heterogeneous temporally - dynamic and static nutrient regimes. When given a choice, plants not only developed greater root biomasses in richer patches; they discriminately allocated more resources to roots that developed in patches with increasing nutrient levels, even when their other roots developed in richer patches. These results suggest that plants are able to perceive and respond to dynamic environmental changes. This ability might enable plants to increase their performance by responding to both current and anticipated resource availabilities in their immediate proximity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10824
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
StatePublished - 17 Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)


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