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11: Roots

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    The root system of a plant serves two primary functions: water absorption and anchorage. Roots with a higher surface area will be better adapted to absorbing water because they have more area to interact with the soil environment. Increased interaction with the soil environment can also contribute to increased anchorage, but there are always trade-offs. If roots become too fine, they will be easily broken and lose the anchorage function. Additionally, finer roots can also lose more water if the soil environment becomes dry. Alternatively, roots with more volume are able to store more water, starches, or other materials belowground. The balancing of these trade-offs with localized environments has resulted in a great diversity of root types and morphologies.

    This page titled 11: Roots is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Maria Morrow (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative) .

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