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  • Hey guys! In this week's episode of Brilliant Botany, I'm going to tell you about some of

  • the record-breaking and mindblowing root systems you can find in the plant world.

  • Roots serve a lot of purposes for plants. They hold them in place, collect water and

  • take in nutrients. Generally speaking, there are two types of root systems: taproots and

  • fibrous root systems. Taproots are thicker and deep reaching roots. The fibrous root

  • system is made up of thinner roots that grow closer to the soil surface.

  • Water is one the most important things a plant needs, and it's the roots' job to find it.

  • Because of this, plants in dry climates, or areas where water is hard to get, will have

  • the longest roots. American Beach Grass, a coastal North American plant, is recorded

  • as having roots as deep as 40 feet. This allows them to reach the water table, since the sand

  • they grow in doesn't hold water.

  • That, however, is nothing compared to some of the record-breaking roots out there. Boscia

  • albitrunca, or Shepherd's Tree, is an African plant with recorded root depths of 68 meters.

  • That's almost 225 feet. The tree itself is typically under 10 meters tall, but needs

  • all of those roots to find water in its dry habitat.

  • Roots, of course, also give a plant stability. In my Five Botany Facts video I mentioned

  • coastal redwoods, which are found on the Northwestern coast of the US and can grow as tall as 350

  • feet or more. You'd think a mammoth plant like that would need a deep tap root to hold

  • them up, but these monsters of the plant world only have fibrous root systems,

  • That's right, these trees that can have a volume of up to 42,000 cubic feet are held

  • up by a dense layer of thin roots that sit sclose to the soil surface. For this reason,

  • redwoods rely heavily on their neighbors, because their root systems interlock and hold

  • up the stand of trees as a whole.

  • There are also some specialized root systems out there, like the aerial roots in mangrove

  • trees. Mangroves grow in subtidal areas in the tropics, meaning that they have to survive

  • being partially submerged in brackish or salt water when the tide is high. These roots grow

  • out of the trunk above ground and bring in oxygen that the submerged roots can't access.

  • Those are just a few of the amazing roots you can find out in the plant world. There

  • are lots of specialized root systems out there, and roots are more important than we often

  • give them credit for. Many plants can grow back from just a root system, including coastal

  • redwoods. If you know of any really cool root systems, please tell me about them in the

  • comments!

  • Thank you for watching! Last week I talked about why I became a scientist, and if there's

  • something you'd like me to talk about next week, let me know in the comments. For daily posts about plant

  • science you can check out I'll see you all next time.

Hey guys! In this week's episode of Brilliant Botany, I'm going to tell you about some of

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B1 root plant fibrous grow water coastal

Amazing Plant Roots

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    稲葉白兎 posted on 2014/09/14
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