IDPAN Ecophys Root Lab – Root Analysis Laboratory


A root sample prepared for scanning. Photo: IDPAN.

Type of facility: Laboratory

Keywords: root growth, fine root morphology, growth dynamics, biomass allocation, landscape research, root ecology, plant morphology

Who would find this useful? forest-based research community, biological research community

About the facility: Laboratory equipped with WinRhizo software for root image analysis.

The root analysis laboratory provides analyses of root samples. Root analysis offers insight into the root structure and morphology, and is an essential component of tree growth analysis. This technique provides valuable information on tree growth and phenology, especially in the context of variation within a population. Root analysis has been typically used to study e.g. biomass allocation or root morphology in response to environment. It can be used i.a. for study of age-related patterns of fine root development, and to estimate fine root biomass and morphology along a chronosequence of forest stands. The facility allows the following fine root traits to be studied: biomass, length, surface area, volume, tip numbers, fine root tip density, specific fine root area, specific fine root length, and fine root tissue density.

What does the TA programme offer? The access to the laboratory is supported by an experienced team at the site available to train the user in sample preparation, data acquisition, data interpretation, and periodic quality control, sample preparation, etc. Users will be given the needed training for the technique and use of the equipment, as well as safety training.

An estimated length of stay is 10 days, but this depends on the number of samples to be analysed. It is estimated that approximately three samples per day can be analysed. Expected output/deliverables for users: analysis of root area, length, and specified morphological parameters, e.g. diameter, number of root tips, forks, etc.

Example image of fine roots sample acquired by scanning and ready for analysis. Photo: IDPAN.

Examples of use:

  • Jagodziński A.M., Kałucka I. 2011. Fine root biomass and morphology in an age-sequence of post-agricultural Pinus sylvestris L. stands. Dendrobiology 66: 71-84.
  • Jagodziński A.M., Kałucka I. 2010. Fine roots biomass and morphology in a chronosequence of young Pinus sylvestris stands growing on a reclaimed lignite mine spoil heap. Dendrobiology 64: 19-30.

More information

Location: Kórnik, Poland

Contact details/practical information

Visit the Institute of Dendrology website