Interspecific differences in root foraging precision cannot be directly inferred from species' mycorrhizal status or fine root economics
Stiblíková, Pavlína et al. (2022), Interspecific differences in root foraging precision cannot be directly inferred from species' mycorrhizal status or fine root economics, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4f4qrfjf3
Nutrient acquisition in plants can be represented by a suite of intercorrelated root traits such as root diameter, nitrogen content, root tissue density, and specific root length. However, it is unclear how a plant's ability to precisely forage for nutrients in a heterogeneous soil environment (i.e., the precision of placing roots into nutrient-rich areas) relates to these traits. Mycorrhizal symbiosis also affects the relationship between the fine root traits and root foraging precision because fungal hyphae may be used for foraging instead of roots. Hypotheses matching high root foraging precision with low mycorrhizal colonization or "fast" acquisitive strategies of plants have been raised based either on data from tree species or a limited number of herbaceous species.
To test these hypotheses, we compiled data quantifying the experimentally measured degree to which root biomass responded to patchy substrate nutrient concentrations (i.e., root foraging precision) for 123 herbaceous grassland species using a partial meta-analysis. We tested root foraging precision relationship with root traits involved in nutrient acquisition and mycorrhizal symbiosis (root diameter, specific root length, root tissue density, root tissue nitrogen content, and mycorrhizal colonization). The root foraging precision data came from four different pot experiments, and the trait data were extracted from publicly available trait databases. We used a phylogenetically informed approach in order to detect the degree of conservation of the relationships.
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Missing values are marked as "NA".
The variable names used in the dataset are described at ReadMe file.
For more details about data processing see Materials and Methods section of the paper.
Grantová Agentura České Republiky, Award: 19-0630S