Root/soil/water interactions

(National Science Foundation)

This collaborative project with Desert Research Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC-Merced used the advance X-ray source at LBL to probe at the micron scale, the development of plant/soil interfaces during root growth. Surprisingly, little understanding of the complex soil interactions that occur at this most important interface have been clearly seen. Using the X-ray sources at LBL, we were able to probe the interface at the sub-micron level and develop for the first time, coupled geomechanical and hydrologic models of root water uptake.

Published research on the topic:

Aravena, J., M. Berli, S. Ruiz, F. Suarez, T. Ghezzehei and S. Tyler. Quantifying geo-engineering of roots using X-ray microtomography and numerical simulations. 2013. Plant and Soil. DOI: 10.1007/s11104-013-1946-z.

Aravena, J.E., M. Berli, T. Ghezzehei and S.W. Tyler. Effects of root-induced compaction on rhizosphere hydraulic properties: X-ray micro-tomography imaging and numerical simulation. 2010. Envir. Science and Technology. DOI: 10.1021/es102566j.

Aravena, J. E., M. Berli, M. Menon, T. A. Ghezzehei, A. K. Mandava, E. E. Regentova, N. S. Pillai, M. H. Young, P.S. Nico, and S. W. Tyler. Synchrotron X-Ray Microtomography—New Means to Quantify Root Induced Changes of Rhizosphere Physical Properties. In Press. In: Soil–Water–Root Processes: Advances in Tomography and Imaging. SSSSA Special Publication 61. S.H. Anderson and J.W. Hopmans.