"Experimental studies using root observation chambers to observe the effects of encounters between individual roots on root elongation rates have revealed that the interactions among roots of Ambrosia dumosa and Larrea tridentata are more complex than simple competition for a limiting resource. Larrea roots inhibited elongation of either Larrea or Ambrosia roots in their vicinity, and Ambrosia roots inhibited elongation of contacted roots on other Ambrosia plants only.
[. . .]
These results support the hypotheses that the interaction mechanism of Larrea roots involves the release of a readily diffusible, generally inhibitory substance by Larrea roots into the soil, rather than a simple depletion of water or nutrients from around Larrea roots, and that the intraspecific, self—nonselfish—recognizing interaction mechanism of Ambrosia roots is mediated by contact and is fundamentally different from that of Larrea."
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