IGN 6-4 - Harnessing a galaxy of root traits to address belowground challenges in plant ecology

Tuesday, August 8, 2017
C124, Oregon Convention Center
Colleen M. Iversen1, M. Luke McCormack2 and A. Shafer Powell1, (1)Environmental Sciences Division and Climate Change Science Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, (2)Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Belowground ecology is the final frontier in ecosystem ecology. However, the underrepresentation of fine roots in global trait databases has hindered efforts to analyze variation and tradeoffs among root traits and link them with plant function, ecosystem processes, and environmental conditions at a global scale. This is in part because—much like the stars during the daytime—fine roots are hard to see. We, along with an international team of collaborators, have developed the Fine-Root Ecology Database (FRED, http://roots.ornl.gov) to fill the black holes in trait coverage and improve our understanding of changes in fine-root traits across space and time.