Board Roots and Ground Roots

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Board-like Roots

Plants usually have their roots in the earth, so that they could carry out tasks to absorb water and nutrition to support the trunks, branches and leaves above the ground; and the roots also sustain the weight of the part above the ground. In order to fulfill the aforesaid tasks better, the root systems often develop towards further depth and width and compete with surrounding plants in space and resources. Since the soil on the ground surface is more fertile, the closer to the ground surface, the fiercer of the competition in-between all plants is. In the deeper layer of the earth, since the soil is infertile and there is less air, the competition amidst them is not as fierce because it is not good for breathing. 

The middle and upper layer arbor trees in the rain forest usually are as tall as 30-40 meters, some could even reach 70-80 meters, and their canopies are also quite wide and big. If they do not have very strong root systems, they could not stand quite stable, they may sink or be destroyed by storms. The miracles in nature lie in their coordination of relationships with the environment, and only the fittest could survive. Because of the humid and heat conditions in rain forest, the water in earth keep in a condition of saturation or nearly saturated, because of the needs for breathing, it is very difficult for the root systems of the trees to penetrate into deep layers where air is in shortage. Since the roots could not enter deep layer earth and they must support the parts above the ground, the roots adopt the strategy to develop in the space above ground. Some trees grow some supporting roots in their branches, and form one-tree forests, and it is also an effective way to support the part above ground. Some trees, such as Tetrameles nudiflora, select to grow their roots like wings towards surrounding areas; they have board-like roots. It is quite popular for trees to have board-like roots in the rain forests, and these phenomena become an important feature of the rain forests. The board-like roots for some tall arbor trees are quite popular in the rain forests, they could be as tall as dozens of meters, and as wide as more than 10 meters; thus, they form a huge side, which is a mighty view. But this seldom happens in places where the earth is thin. 

Roots on the Ground Surface

Board-like root is the most outstanding phenomenon in rain forests, and the most peculiar parts described by the explorers. Because of the existence of the board-like roots, many people could hold a tree in many cases, and this also makes it particularly difficult to cut trees in rain forests. 

As a matter of fact, the present people are not so clear about the mechanism that forms the board-like roots. It is obviously related with the pressure of the part above ground and the shallow roots, and it is a result of the natural selection. However, they may also be under the control of some genes we are not clear, because in the rain forests, the trees that have board-like roots begin to have such roots even when they were still young trees; and their board-like roots grow together with the trees. 

Some other trees in the rain forests, in order to support their huge parts above the ground, find some other methods. Their roots would extend and expand on the ground surface and would form huge roots on the ground surface. These roots mingle with one another and become a network; so that other plants could not invade their territory. 

When setting foot in the rain forest, people could not help gasping in admirations for the growing methods, the growing locations of the roots, and the miracles created by nature.