The holistic rhizosphere: integrating zones, processes, and semantics in the soil influenced by roots

York, Larry M., Carminati, Andrea, Mooney, Sacha J., Ritz, Karl and Bennett, Malcolm J. (2016) The holistic rhizosphere: integrating zones, processes, and semantics in the soil influenced by roots. Journal of Experimental Botany, 67 (12). pp. 3629-3643. ISSN 1460-2431

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Despite often being conceptualized as a thin layer of soil around roots, the rhizosphere is actually a dynamic system of interacting processes. Hiltner originally defined the rhizosphere as the soil influenced by plant roots. However, soil physicists, chemists, microbiologists, and plant physiologists have studied the rhizosphere independently, and therefore conceptualized the rhizosphere in different ways and using contrasting terminology. Rather than research-specific conceptions of the rhizosphere, the authors propose a holistic rhizosphere encapsulating the following components: microbial community gradients, macroorganisms, mucigel, volumes of soil structure modification, and depletion or accumulation zones of nutrients, water, root exudates, volatiles, and gases. These rhizosphere components are the result of dynamic processes and understanding the integration of these processes will be necessary for future contributions to rhizosphere science based upon interdisciplinary collaborations. In this review, current knowledge of the rhizosphere is synthesized using this holistic perspective with a focus on integrating traditionally separated rhizosphere studies. The temporal dynamics of rhizosphere activities will also be considered, from annual fine root turnover to diurnal fluctuations of water and nutrient uptake. The latest empirical and computational methods are discussed in the context of rhizosphere integration. Clarification of rhizosphere semantics, a holistic model of the rhizosphere, examples of integration of rhizosphere studies across disciplines, and review of the latest rhizosphere methods will empower rhizosphere scientists from different disciplines to engage in the interdisciplinary collaborations needed to break new ground in truly understanding the rhizosphere and to apply this knowledge for practical guidance.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Experimental Botany following peer review. The version of record Larry M. York, Andrea Carminati, Sacha J. Mooney, Karl Ritz, and Malcolm J. Bennett The holistic rhizosphere: integrating zones, processes, and semantics in the soil influenced by roots J. Exp. Bot. (2016) 67 (12): 3629-3643 is available online at:
Keywords: Depletion, Microbial, Mucilage, Nutrient, Plant, Rhizodeposition, Root, Soil.
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Biosciences
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Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2016 07:29
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 17:42

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