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Modification of soils by plants: sustainability by design
Convener: Paul Hallett  | Co-Convener: Philip White 
 / Mon, 28 Apr, 13:30–15:15
 / Attendance Mon, 28 Apr, 17:30–19:00

This session explores processes at the root-soil interface that enhance the capture of water and nutrients by plants, improve conditions for root growth and promote the stabilisation of soil. A major focus will be the impact on soil of specific root traits that could be exploited in plant breeding or affect the community structure of native plants. These traits include exudates that affect soil physical structure, nutrient cycling or microbial communities, the structure of roots such as architecture, morphology and root hairs, and the capacity of roots to penetrate and potentially break up strong soils. The research addresses increased food and forestry demands, more efficient use of freshwater and chemical fertilisers, the sustainable management of soils, and contemporary questions in ecosystem development and the impacts of climate change.