Thursday, 9 October 2008: 9:30 AM
George R. Brown Convention Center, 381C
The rhizosphere encompasses the volume of soil surrounding living plant roots and is strongly modified by plant activities. Root growth, uptake of water and nutrients, secretion of mucilages alter the physical, chemical, and biological properties in this region. Of these, the impacts on physical properties have received little attention. In this work we show some potential interactions between plant roots and soil mechanical and physical properties using numerical modeling the hydrological and mechanical changes that accompany growth of a single plant root. Our simulations show how root activities alter the mechanical and physical properties (such as density, water retention characteristics) and how these alterations in turn impact water delivery to the plant roots.