Australian Journal of Botany Australian Journal of Botany Society
Southern hemisphere botanical ecosystems

Chemical Characteristics of the Proteoid Root Mat of Banksia integrifolia L

PF Grierson and PM Attiwill

Australian Journal of Botany 37(2) 137 - 143
Published: 1989


The proteoid roots of Banksia integrifolia are concentrated in the surface soil, forming a dense mat beneath the litter layer. Water extracts of the proteoid root mat contained a significantly greater amount of hydrogen ions, reductants and an unidentified chelating agent, than water extracts of soil beneath the root mat, of the litter layer and of soil from beyond the proteoid root zone. The results are discussed in relation to previously reported production of organic chelates by plants causing solubilisation of soil phosphates. It is suggested the proteoid roots of B. integrifolia chemically modify the soil environment thereby enhancing nutrient uptake.

© CSIRO 1989

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