Journal or Book Title
Journal of Forestry Research
Root/shoot (R/S) ratio is an important index for assessing plant health, and has received increased attention in the last decades as a sensitive indicator of plant stress induced by chemical or physical agents. The R/S ratio has been discussed in the context of ecological theory and its potential importance in ecological succession, where species follow different strategies for above-ground growth for light or below-ground competition for water and nutrients. We present evidence showing the R/S ratio follows a biphasic dose–response relationship under stress, typical of hormesis. The R/S ratio in response to stress has been widely compared among species and ecological succession classes. It is constrained by a variety of factors such as ontogeny. Furthermore, the current literature lacks dose–response studies incorporating the full dose–response continuum, hence limiting scientific understanding and possible valuable application. The data presented provide an important perspective for new-generation studies that can advance current ecological understanding and improve carbon storage estimates by R/S ratio considerations. Hormetic response of the R/S ratio can have an important role in forestry for producing seedlings with desired characteristics to achieve maximum health/productivity and resilience under plantation conditions.
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Agathokleous, Evgenios; Belz, Regina G.; Kitao, Mitsutoshi; Koike, Takayoshi; and Calabrese, Edward J., "Does the root to shoot ratio show a hormetic response to stress? An ecological and environmental perspective" (2019). Journal of Forestry Research. 11.