Articles | Volume 1, issue 2
Review article
08 Sep 2015
Review article |  | 08 Sep 2015

Can we manipulate root system architecture to control soil erosion?

A. Ola, I. C. Dodd, and J. N. Quinton

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Cited articles

Abrahams, A. D., Parsons, A. J., and Luk, S. H.: Hydrologic and sediment responses to simulated rainfall on desert hillslopes in southern Arizona, Catena, 15, 103–117, 1988.
Amezketa, E.: Soil aggregate stability: a review, J. Sustain. Agr., 14, 83–151, 1999.
Archer, N. A. L., Quinton, J. N., and Hess, T. M.: Below-ground relationships of soil texture, roots and hydraulic conductivity in two-phase mosaic vegetation in South-east Spain, J. Arid Environ., 52, 535–553, 2002.
Basu, P., Brown, K. M., and Pal, A.: Detailed Quantitative Analysis of Architectural Traits of Basal Roots of Young Seedlings of Bean in Response to Auxin and Ethylene, Plant Physiol., 155, 2056–2065, 2011.
Bauhus, J. and Messier, C.: Soil exploitation strategies of fine roots in different tree species of the southern boreal forest of eastern Canada, Can. J. Forest Res., 29, 260–273, 1999
Short summary
Plant roots are crucial in soil erosion control. Moreover, some species respond to nutrient-rich patches by lateral root proliferation. At the soil surface dense mats of roots may block soil pores thereby limiting infiltration, enhancing runoff; whereas at depth local increases in shear strength may reinforce soils at the shear plane. This review considers the potential of manipulating plant roots to control erosion.