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Quantifying Root-Soil Interactions in Cover Crop Systems: A Review

In agroecosystems, roots perform three basic functions for the plants: support, water supply, and nutrient supply. Root activity is intimately tied to the plant water and nutrient status, as well as internal carbohydrate supply, such that both root and shoot growth and development establish a functional equilibrium. Cover crops have been reported to improve soil and environmental quality by reducing nutrient losses, improving soil water content, and increasing soil organic matter. Understanding the complex interactions between cover crop roots and soil (RS) is of utmost importance. However, cover crop RS interactions have not been critically reviewed. In this article, we investigated the nature of cover crop physical RS interactions and explored the emerging technologies for their study.

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