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Focus Topic: Soil–Plant and Rhizosphere Processes

This focus topic features articles that investigate the rhizosphere, as well as plant and soil interactions, at the interface between soil physics, biology, hydrology, and ecology. It presents original fundamental or applied papers on the impact of soil on plants or vice-versa. Featured papers deal with energy, water, and nutrient fluxes in the soil–plant system. Of particular interest are the impact and functioning of the rhizosphere, carbon cycling, and solid, gas, and liquid fluxes between plants, soil, and the atmosphere.  It also includes modeling studies that improve the understanding of the soil–plant system functioning and technical articles proposing new ways to monitor or measure the soil–plant system.
Francois Tardieu, Xavier Draye and Mathieu Javaux
Simulations of plant water uptake in soil science are based on the interplay between soil and root properties, with an imposed flux or water potential at the stem base. The dialogue between roots and...more
Siul Ruiz, Stanislaus J. Schymanski and Dani Or
We quantified the mechanics and energetics of soil penetration by burrowing earthworms and growing plant roots considering different penetration rates and soil mechanical properties. The mechanical mo...more
Tomas Vogel, Jana Votrubova, Michal Dohnal and Jaromir Dusek
When describing the movement of water in a variably saturated plant root zone, most existing hydrological models use the assumption of quasi-steady-state flow to relate root water uptake to canopy tra...more
Ram L. Ray
Giant sequoia [Sequoiadendron giganteum (Lindl.) J. Buchholz] trees and their ecosystems are unique natural treasures in the Sierra Nevada, California, where most groves are federally managed for biod...more
Gaochao Cai, Jan Vanderborght, Anja Klotzsche, Jan van der Kruk, Joschka Neumann, Normen Hermes and Harry Vereecken
Minimally invasive monitoring of root development and soil states (soil moisture, temperature) in undisturbed soils during a crop growing cycle is a challenging task. Minirhizotron (MR) tubes offer th...more
A.G. Hunt
Critical path analysis (CPA) is suited to calculating the hydraulic conductivity, K, of heterogeneous porous media by quantifying the paths of least resistance. Whenever CPA can be used to calculate K...more
Marjorie Schulz, Dave Stonestrom, Corey Lawrence, Tom Bullen, John Fitzpatrick, Emily Kyker-Snowman, Jane Manning and Meagan Mnich
Soil mottles generally are interpreted as a product of reducing conditions during periods of water saturation. The upland soils of the Santa Cruz, CA, marine terrace chronosequence display an evolving...more
Lionel X. Dupuy and Wendy K. Silk
Microbial activity in the soil surrounding plant roots contributes to nutrient bioavailability, crop growth, and soil biodiversity and fertility. Colonization of the rhizosphere and the rhizoplane in...more
Andrea Carminati, Eva Kroener, Mutez A. Ahmed, Mohsen Zarebanadkouki, Maire Holz and Teamrat Ghezzehei
Plant roots exude approximately 10% of the carbon assimilated through photosynthesis into the soil, a process referred to as rhizodeposition. Here, we show that the mucilaginous fraction of the rhizod...more
G. Manoli, S. Bonetti, E. Scudiero, F. Morari, M. Putti and P. Teatini
Coupling hydrological models with plant physiology is crucial to capture the feedback mechanisms occurring within the soil–plant–atmosphere continuum. However, the ability of such models to descri...more