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Science  26 Apr 1940:
Vol. 91, Issue 2365, pp. 391-398
DOI: 10.1126/science.91.2365.391


(1) It becomes increasingly evident that continued root growth with the establishment of new root-soil contacts is necessary for the normal entrance of both water and mineral nutrients into the root. This concept emphasizes the ecological importance of factors tending either to impede or favor the spread and permeation of roots in the soil.

(2) The characteristics of soils with respect to (1) available water capacity, (2) permeability to water and (3) permeability to air are largely determined by the volume and size distribution of the soil pore space. The latter is conveniently characterized by measuring the water held by a soil at varying moisture tensions.

(3) In recognition of the foregoing, it may be concluded that a better understanding of root-soil relationships should result from more general application of interpretative studies of soil pore space conditions to root development, and from the development and application of micro-methods for studying the conditions, both physical and chemical, existing at the actual root soil interface.