Annals of Botany

Branching patterns of monocots and dicots

Branching patterns of root systems are characterized and compared by Pagès with a set of six quantitative traits revealing interspecific variations and correlations, suggesting trade-offs.

Fineness vs. density relationship.
Fineness vs. density relationship.

The ‘fineness-density’ and ‘dominance-heterorhizy’ axes separated the species, according to roots’ minimal diameter and branching density, and according to apical diameter and level of dominance of mother roots over their branches, respectively. These axes were remarkably similar for monocots and dicots, but systematic differences were evident: Monocots had a larger range in apical diameters (heterorhizy), and their roots exerted a stronger dominance over lateral branches.

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