Abstract Detail

Time to dig: the importance of underground storage organs in plant evolution

Klimesova, Jitka [1].

Belowground plant organs and why we should not keep ignoring them.

Plants are sessile organisms with their parts located in two spaces: aboveground and belowground. The aboveground space for a plant is crucial as it photosynthesizes there, competes for light, flowers and then disperses its seeds. Belowground, a plant searches and obtains water and nutrients. At the same time, belowground is a safe place where the majority of disturbance agents (e.g. fire, grazing) cannot penetrate, and a plant can therefore store photosynthates and a bud bank. The belowground plant organs (e.g. roots, rhizomes) are less studied than aboveground organs (e.g. leaves, stems) in ecology, evolution and development. Here, I provide a conceptual framework designed to study the “hidden half” of plants occurring belowground. Specifically, I discuss the importance of the less known belowground organs, traits, functions and finally questions that we may answer about plant evolution, ecology and development by implementing the proposed framework.   

Related Links:
Clonal Plants Working Group
CLO-PLA - a database of clonal growth in plants

1 - Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Department of Functional Ecology, Dukelska 135, Trebon, 37901, Czech Republic

belowground traits
storage organs
clonal growth organs
bud bearing organs
plant architecture

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: 0001
Abstract ID:342
Candidate for Awards:None

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