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Newly discovered snow roots are 'evolutionary phenomenon'
Date:6/11/2009

d high concentrations of 15N, including the snow roots, tubers and the leaves which had appeared after snow melt. In contrast, a species of dandelion growing close to the C. conorhiza plants did not possess any 15N. Further study confirmed the roots are anatomically very different from normal soil roots, making them specifically adapted for the fast uptake and transport of nitrogen.

"These roots help the plant to 'feed' on nutrients in snow before the plant shoots appear above the surface in the growing season", explained Cornelissen. "This gives the plant an advance on other plant species, which can only take up nutrients through roots in the soil during the very short growing season."


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Contact: Ben Norman
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Source:Eurekalert

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