Methods for Studying Roots
This chapter discusses the methods which can be used to evaluate the response of the roots to soil physical conditions. Much attention has been devoted to further testing and improvements of nondestructive root observation techniques through transparent materials. Observation of the roots can be made with the aid of tubes inserted into the soil and with a glass wall in the soil container and a rhizotron. The use of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMR) imaging to measure spatial distribution of roots was attempted. So far, results have suggested that NMR imaging is an effective method for measuring spatial distributions, both of roots and water in soil, and as a nondestructive and noninvasive method for studying growth dynamics and physiological processes involving flow. Scanning electron micrographs can be used not only for the description of roots, but also to determine dimensions of hairy roots.