A new module for root growth in macropores

Magdalena Landl (PhD student at FZ-Juelich, Germany) has added a new module in R-SWMS to simulate root growth, water and nutrient uptake in macropores. Qualitative and quantitative comparisons between simulated and experimentally observed root systems showed good agreement, suggesting that the drawn analogy between soil water flow and root growth is a useful one. You can download it here : See publication


Recent article have shed light on the potential impact of rhizosphere properties on soil water flow. Mucilage may change drastically the properties of the few millimeters around roots but its impact on root water uptake had never had studied before. Nimrod Schwartz, postdoc at UCL, implemented the specific properties and processes in R-SWMS to investigate its impact on plant transpiration and rhizosphere hydraulic status. A recent paper in Water Resources Research summarizes its main findings.

R-SMWS manual meeting in Juelich

The R-SWMS developpers met in Juelich (Germany) on March 17th, 2015 to work on the update of the R-SWMS user manual. Developpers from KULeuven, UCL (Belgium) and Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH (Germany) gathered to finalize the first version.

The first version should be launched by June.

Towards a new, improved R-SWMS model

Natalie Schroeder, a former PhD student at UCl and FZJ, is currently working at the Dept. of Hydromechanics and Modelling of Hydrosystems of the Stuttgard University to implement root functions into the Dumux platform.

Future simulations will rely on more accurate soil water and solute numerical resolutions and additional features like parallel processing and adpative grid are expected to be available. A first version is already available and currently running. Other features are coming soon!

R-SWMS reads RSML input files for root architecture

The number of image analysis tools supporting the extraction of architectural features of root systems has increased over the last years. Recently, Lobet et al. (2015) proposed the Root System Markup Language (RSML), which has been designed to enable portability of root architecture data between different software tools and to provide a standard format upon which to base central repositories. RSML follows the XML standard to store 2D or 3D image metadata, plant and root properties and geometries, continuous functions along individual root paths and a suite of annotations at the image, plant or root scales, at one or several time points.

RSML root input files can now be read in order to be used with R-SWMS!

See publication