From Fogel, 1985.

From Fogel, 1985.

communities contained therein) (Hiltner, 1904; Curl and Truelove, 1986) processes. We cover these later in the chapter.

When comparing across ecosystems, one needs to be aware of marked differences in root morphology and distribution, i.e., root architecture (Fitter, 1985, 1991). Thus wheat roots in a Kansas field are not markedly different in size, with primary and secondary laterals arising from root initials. In contrast, coniferous tree roots are often comprised of long, supporting lateral roots and short roots, which do the primary job of water and nutrient absorption. Ecologists often use a rather simple, pragmatic classification approach: roots with a diameter of less than 2 millimeters (mm) are classified as fine roots, and roots with a diameter greater than 2 mm are classified as structural roots (Fogel, 1991).

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