As the reality of human-mediated global change becomes increasingly accepted by a sceptical public, so the scientific research that has identified this situation has become increasingly high profile. However, while we can almost see the leaves before us changing, the same is not true of plant roots - we ignore this hidden half at our peril. This book addresses root dynamics in the face of a globally changing environment and asks the key questions: Do atmospheric and climatic changes alter root production and root longevity? How do the changes impact on the whole plant and its microbial symbiotic partners? And ultimately, how do these changes alter the ecosystem itself? The ecosystem perspective is especially important - root turnover is a key component of ecosystem metabolism and the capacity of ecosystems to store carbon. It is clear that the prim challenges still concern how to reach and analyse the roots themselves, but where there are gaps in our knowledge, many researchers are finding that the visible half - the leaves - often do provide a good analogy for roots. The reviews and original research reported here provide a comprehensive overview of the subject and point the way ahead for systematic scientific exploration of this compelling topic of our times.
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