Abstract Detail


Miller, Allison [1].

New Roots for Restoration Biology Integration Institute: integrating plant traits, communities, and the soil ecosphere to advance restoration of natural and agricultural systems.

Through their root systems, plants connect aboveground components of terrestrial ecosystems to the soil, yet we lack a basic understanding of how plant traits, from shoots to roots, govern these connections. The New Roots for Restoration Biology Integration Institute focuses on the overarching theme of understanding plant organismal systems (including above- and below-ground phenotypes), in the context of plant communities and the soil ecosphere. This NSF funded Institute launched in September 2021 and engages researchers from disparate disciplines (agro-ecology, community ecology, computer science, genetics, plant biology, restoration, soil microbial ecology, soil science), research contexts (natural and agricultural systems), and organizations (non-profit research institutes, universities, and botanical gardens). Scientific activities of the Institute focus on wild species and early stage perennial domesticates in three plant families (Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Poaceae). Using field and greenhouse experiments, we apply cutting edge plant phenotyping approaches typically used in major crops to characterize how above- and below-ground traits vary across individuals, populations, species, communities, and sites, and how root and shoot relationships shift based on properties of the soil. Here I present recent results from one of the Institute projects in which trait variation and co-variation in eight perennial herbaceous species is being investigated, and share ongoing work to capture root phenotypes using destructive and non-destructive approaches. One of the long-term goals of this work is to be able to predict below-ground functional traits based on above-ground phenotypes, to facilitate informed selection of plants based on how they interact with each other and the soil.

1 - Saint Louis Univ./Danforth Plant Science Center, Biology, 3507 Laclede Avenue, Macelwane Hall, St. Louis, MO, 63110, United States

plant traits

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: EC01003
Abstract ID:410
Candidate for Awards:None

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