The research conducted has highlighted the significant correlation between the depth of roots and the conditions of the soil and water in the vicinity. The study further elaborated that roots tend to penetrate deeper into the soil in upland areas that are well-drained, reaching down to the level of rainwater and snowmelt infiltration. Conversely, in lowlands with waterlogged soil, roots remain shallow. However, in areas with intermediate soil conditions and severe drought, the roots can grow several meters deep to reach the saturated zone, which lies slightly above the groundwater table.
According to Reinfelder, the discoveries have significant significance for considering whether trees and other plant species will have the ability to adjust and endure in a constantly changing environment in the coming century and beyond. He added that there is a higher chance of survival for plants because they are usually flexible. Also, plants with deep roots will have a greater advantage.
According to her, plants have the capacity to adapt and endure environmental stresses and changes caused by climate change, but only up to a certain limit. For instance, if there is a short period of drought, plants can survive it, but if the drought persists for an extended period, they may not be able to withstand it.
According to her observations, plants have the ability to adapt to harsh surroundings by relocating downhill where there is a greater presence of water. This is achieved through dispersing seeds, and the ones that reach these wetter areas are the ones that thrive.
The worldwide study, led by Reinfelder, examines over 2,200 instances of the roots of 1,000 different plant species from various groups, such as trees, grasses, shrubs, herbs, and succulents.
According to Reinfelder, the next course of action is to explore and predict the Amazon rainforest’s ability to withstand droughts by the year 2100. This is due to the rainforest’s impressive trees that have deep roots.
According to her, exploring the subterranean side of the ecosystem is crucial. Despite being obscure and mysterious, it provides answers to a plethora of questions that scientists are yet to uncover. Hence, investing in this area of research is imperative to shed light on the unknown.