Rhizosphere

Definition - What does Rhizosphere mean?

Rhizosphere refers to the area of soil that is directly affected by a plant’s root system, associated root secretions, and microorganisms.

The rhizosphere region around a plant’s roots contains an abundance of bacteria and microorganisms that depend on the plant’s sloughed off cells, sugars, and proteins as a primary food source. In exchange, the bacteria and microorganisms help create a nutrient-rich, aerated place for the plant’s roots.

Within the rhizosphere, the coexistence of bacteria, plants, and microorganisms create a key symbiotic relationship. The rhizosphere is where a plant's mycorrhizal fungi are present.

MaximumYield explains Rhizosphere

The German agronomist and plant physiologist Lorenz Hiltner dubbed the term ‘rhizosphere’ in 1904. He studied how the plant's roots worked with the microorganisms in the soil to create an optimal area where both could thrive.

The rhizosphere area refers to the medial zone that runs by the plant’s roots. The region varies in size depending on the plant’s root system spread and overall shape. Rhizosphere normally refers to the region around the plant's roots that is rich in proteins, organic acids, minerals, and carbon released by the plant’s roots that create a feast for microorganisms which in turn share their sloughed off bounty with the plant’s roots to be readily absorbed.

Another word for rhizosphere is root zone. Growers also frequently refer to 'root mass', which is in fact something separate from the rhizosphere; it is the actual amount of active roots a plant is growing.

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