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Preferential Root Tropisms in 2D Wet Granular Media with Structural Inhomogeneities

Abstract : We investigate certain aspects of the physical mechanisms of root growth in a granular medium and how these roots adapt to changes in water distribution induced by the presence of structural inhomogeneities in the form of solid intrusions. physical intrusions such as a square rod added into the 2D granular medium maintain robust capillary action, pumping water from the more saturated areas at the bottom of the cell towards the less saturated areas near the top of the cell while the rest of the medium is slowly devoid of water via evaporation. the intrusion induces “preferential tropism” of roots by first generating a humidity gradient that attracts the root to grow towards it. Then it guides the roots and permits them to grow deeper into more saturated regions in the soil. this further allows more efficient access to available water in the deeper sections of the medium thereby resulting to increased plant lifetime.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 4, 2019 - 10:39:58 AM
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Cesare M. Cejas, Lawrence Hough, Raphaël Beaufret, Jean-Christophe Castaing, Christian Frétigny, et al.. Preferential Root Tropisms in 2D Wet Granular Media with Structural Inhomogeneities. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2019, 9 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41598-019-50653-8⟩. ⟨hal-02344460⟩

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