912340 Ecology of roots and mycorrhizae I

Lecture and seminar
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Offered in
Wintersemester 2022/23
Languages of instruction


The course will cover functional ecology of roots and mycorrhizas in forest ecosystems and studied. Studied in parallel with the lab course Ecology of roots and mycorrhiza II it will provide an in-depth understanding of the hidden half of plants. Emphasis will be place on the role of root and mycorrhizas in nutrient and water uptake, carbon cycling, as well as the effects of stress factors such as acidity and salinity on roots.

The programme includes:
1.Root structure/morphology
2.Mycorrhiza structure/morphology
3.Water relations of roots and mycorrhiza
5.Nutrient uptake of roots and mycorrhiza
6.Carbon dynamics
7.Soil root interactions
c.Heavy metals

Preferably the lab course Ecology of roots and Mycorrhiza II is taken in parallel. In the lab course you will do practical things related to what we discuss in the this course. In the lab you will also have time to discuss with the teachers about everything related to roots and mycorrhiza!

Previous knowledge expected

Basic knowledge in Plant/Soil/Rhizosphere Ecology and Botany is beneficial.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

Learning outcomes

- List root and mycorrhiza physiology
- Recall nutrient and water uptake mechanisms
- Illustrate how the symbiosis between mycorrhiza and plants work

- Describe how roots and mycorrhiza mobilize and take up nutrients
- Explain how roots and mycorrhiza affect soil chemistry and soil microbiology

- Set up, evaluate and present a root stress experiment

- Associate morphological changes of roots to plant stress
- Analyse mycorrhiza type distribution over environmental gradients

- Relate belowground root and mycorrhiza turnover to nutrient and water availability
- Relate stress such as salt and heavy metals to below ground carbon fluxes

- Asses the importance of roots and mycorrhiza for nutrient and carbon cycling in forest ecosystems
- Identify key processes affecting root and mycorrhiza growth and activity
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.