Course theme

Type of course


Root Ecology

  • 19 - 24 November 2023
  • Rotates between University of Copenhagen (Denmark) and Wageningen University
  • Environmental Life Sciences
  • 2.5 ECTS

In the effort to understand nutrient dynamics in plants and accordingly to improve nutrient uptake and use efficiency in crops, the role of the root system is becoming a new area of interest. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the below-ground world is complex and that various interactions occur between roots and their environment and between roots sharing the same soil volume. Root proliferation and functioning must often be modified to cope with the prevailing conditions in the soil environment such as the avoidance of obstacles and the exploitation of nutrient rich patches or water zones. This post-graduate course focuses on root ecology, how roots grow, function and interact with the surrounding environment. We will discuss differences and similarities between roots in natural ecosystems and roots of agricultural plants and how future research and breeding of agricultural plants can exploit the knowledge obtained from natural systems.

Topics dealt with are:

  • Root architecture and foraging
  • Adaptation and plasticity
  • Root strategies and plant life history
  • Root/root interactions

Former occurrences of this course

19-24 Jan 2020   |   3-8 Apr 2016

  • PE&RC, Wageningen University
  • Every three years
  • 25-40 participants
  • Basic knowledge of root ecology is assumed