Root secretions and microorganisms directly influence the shallow part of the soil. This is the rhizosphere. Learn more here from Green As It Gets™

Definition of Rhizosphere

Rhizosphere has been defined as the area of soil that surrounds the roots of a plant and is therefore altered by the plant’s root growth, food and ventilation. However this definition has recently been refined to include three zones which are defined based on their relative location to the roots.

To begin with, all kinds of interesting things happen within the top few inches of soil. What’s more, the microorganisms and nutrition within the rhizosphere is beneficial to plant growth. Organisms that feed on the soil become beneficial to plants such as worms, which help to aerate soil and transport nutrients down to roots. In 1904 the German agronomist and plant physiologist Lorenz Hiltner first coined the term “rhizosphere” in order to describe the plant-root interface. It stems from the Greek word “rhiza”, which mean root (Hiltner, 1904; Hartmann et al., 2008).

The rhizosphere contains many bacteria that feed on dumped plant cells, and proteins and sugars released by the roots. Moreover, tiny little creatures graze on this bacteria thus allowing them to thrive here more than other parts of the soil. Hence, much of the nutrient cycling and disease suppression needed by plants occurs near the roots. If you would like to read more, then GO HERE for some great information on Wikipedia.

Points to Remember about the Rhizosphere

  • The rhizosphere is the location where root hairs and soil meet.
  • Tons of biological activity happens in the rhizosphere!
  • A healthy rhizosphere is key to a healthy garden!

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Rhizosphere is the area of soil that surrounds the roots of a plant and is altered by the plant's root growth

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