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Niels Halberg

Digging Deeper for Agricultural Resources, the Value of Deep Rooting

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  • Kristian Thorup-Kristensen, Kobenhavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Niels Halberg
  • Mette Nicolaisen, Kobenhavns Universitet
  • ,
  • Jørgen Eivind Olesen
  • Timothy E. Crews, The Land Institute
  • ,
  • Philippe Hinsinger, Universite de Montpellier
  • ,
  • John Kirkegaard, CSIRO
  • ,
  • Alain Pierret, Université de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), National University of Laos
  • ,
  • Dorte Bodin Dresbøll, Kobenhavns Universitet

In the quest for sustainable intensification of crop production, we discuss the option of extending the root depth of crops to increase the volume of soil exploited by their root systems. We discuss the evidence that deeper rooting can be obtained by appropriate choice of crop species, by plant breeding, or crop management and its potential contributions to production and sustainable development goals. Many studies highlight the potentials of deeper rooting, but we evaluate its contributions to sustainable intensification of crop production, the causes of the limited research into deep rooting of crops, and the research priorities to fill the knowledge gaps.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Pages (from-to)406-417
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

    Research areas

  • carbon sequestration, deep nutrient uptake, deep rooting, subsoil water uptake, sustainable intensification

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