Suzie Browning wrote:I discovered Permaculture a few months ago so I may have some pretty novice questions to ask at times. I've been a gardener for a long time but really never gave much thought to root systems and their complicated ways of supporting the plant with nutrients or how their root systems might support other plants.
Do all tap rooted plants bring nutrients up to be used by other plants?
If you do a Google Search
on the words/terms "Hydraulic Lift and Redistribution"
you'll come up often times with alot
of general studies of this amazing natural phenomena, but add a comma in that search bar and type in any specific plant you may be curious about will bring up more detailed and fascinating research on that particular plants importance in that ecosystem. For example I added the plant common & species name of a high elevation type of Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)
which is a sort of poster
child plant of the high mountain west. Now from first glance, who would think such a low growing brush could accomplish such an important task for other life around it. Certainly it is not as deep rooted as say a Mesquite of the Deserts Southwest or the African Acacias of the great Savanahs. But it has some incredible studies done with this terminology and phenomena.
Suzie Browning wrote:Do you think these plants that deposit water shallowly, use it all themselves or could that water be available to other plants nearby? (The article did state that they thought the main purpose was to make it easier for the plant to draw nutrients from the soil) Which rears another question, as silly as it may sound, just what is the purpose of water to a plant?
Does anyone know what the 60 other plants species might be?
The individual referenced in your link and quote , Todd Dawson
has done much research on several shrubs or trees
with this amazing ability. I did a page on my blog (link in my Profile here) on Dawson's Lab and some of his work regarding Maple Trees in the northern Temperate forests who provide a major contribution towards this phenomena. I think more consideration should
be given to this mechanism when environmental restoration projects or even urban landscaping or home gardening
are to be undertaken. Again, when doing a search and curious on a specific tree or shrub, just associate the term with the plant's name.