Research Topic

Benchmarking 3D-Models of Root Growth, Architecture and Functioning

About this Research Topic

Three-dimensional models of root growth, architecture and functioning are currently evolving towards important tools that aid designing agricultural management schemes for improved resource use efficiency and selecting root traits for optimizing plant performance in specific environments. For reliable ...

Three-dimensional models of root growth, architecture and functioning are currently evolving towards important tools that aid designing agricultural management schemes for improved resource use efficiency and selecting root traits for optimizing plant performance in specific environments. For reliable application, benchmarking of functional-structural root architecture models (FSRM) is urgently needed. Similar relevant benchmarking initiatives have been performed for crop models (AgMIP), reactive transport models, or models of water flow and solute transport in soils. FSRMs generally solve flow and transport equations in the coupled soil and root system. Differences between different models’ outputs might arise from differences in numerical scheme, in mathematical formulation of the processes and their coupling but also from errors in the coding. Consequently, potential errors might propagate into the plant and soil interaction simulations relying on an accurate simulation of root architecture development for describing root water and solute uptake processes. The extent of potential uncertainty due to these different factors is currently unknown.

In this Research Topic we want to provide the opportunity to participate in the development and application of suitable benchmarks. This exercise allows us to point out sources of inaccuracies, knowledge gaps and to propose topic of research. We discuss state-of-the-art modelling of root system development and root-soil interactions and current challenges in mathematical model development.

We welcome authors to participate in:

1. the systematic comparison of different root architecture models, including
• Parameterisation (from 2D, or 3D experimental data)
• Modelling approach (key mechanisms of root system development considered)
• Development and application of benchmarks (suitable simulation scenarios including quantitative characteristics that can be compared)

2. coupling of root models with 3D soil models of root water uptake
• Bridging scales of observation from single root processes to landscape
• Extending root-soil interaction modeling: soil induced changes on root systems (architectural, morphology, anatomy, physiology) and root-induced changes in soil properties (exudation, root symbionts, physical properties).
• Connecting root-shoot models and processes: xylem and phloem transport, hormone-mediated processes.
• Development and application of benchmarks (suitable simulation scenarios including quantitative characteristics that can be compared)

3. the existing benchmarking initiative described in http://biorxiv.org/cgi/content/short/808972v1

We welcome all publications that describe and discuss (a) the development of such benchmarks, (b) the description and performance of individual models in those benchmarks, (c) comparative discussion of the different models with respect to the benchmarks.


Keywords: Root Architecture Modelling, Benchmarking, Root Hydrology, Plant-Soil Interaction, Mathematical Modelling and Simulation


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 July 2019 Manuscript
22 June 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 July 2019 Manuscript
22 June 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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