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Drought-induced changes in root biomass largely result from altered root morphological traits: Evidence from a synthesis of global field trials

journal contribution
posted on 13.02.2019, 00:00 authored by G Zhou, X Zhou, Y Nie, Shahla Hosseini BaiShahla Hosseini Bai, L Zhou, J Shao, W Cheng, J Wang, F Hu, Y Fu
Extreme drought is likely to become more frequent and intense as a result of global climate change, which may significantly impact plant root traits and responses (i.e., morphology, production, turnover, and biomass). However, a comprehensive understanding of how drought affects root traits and responses remains elusive. Here, we synthesized data from 128 published studies under field conditions to examine the responses of 17 variables associated with root traits to drought. Our results showed that drought significantly decreased root length and root length density by 38.29% and 11.12%, respectively, but increased root diameter by 3.49%. However, drought significantly increased root:shoot mass ratio and root cortical aerenchyma by 13.54% and 90.7%, respectively. Our results suggest that drought significantly modified root morphological traits and increased root mortality, and the drought-induced decrease in root biomass was less than shoot biomass, causing higher root:shoot mass ratio. The cascading effects of drought on root traits and responses may need to be incorporated into terrestrial biosphere models to improve prediction of the climate–biosphere feedback. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Funding

Other

History

Volume

41

Issue

11

Start Page

2589

End Page

2599

Number of Pages

11

eISSN

1365-3040

ISSN

0140-7791

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, UK

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Acceptance Date

23/05/2018

External Author Affiliations

Chinese Academy of Sciences; Fudan University, China; East China Normal University; Shanghai Institute of Pollution Control and Ecological Security

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Plant Cell and Environment