Root System Drawings

This collection holds 1000 drawings, the outcome of 40 years of root system excavations carried out in Europe, predominantly in Austria. The drawings, their analysis and description were done by staff members of the Pflanzensoziologisches Institut, Klagenfurt, led by Prof. Dr. Lore Kutschera (d. 2008).

Their work led to a number of publications, and is the counterpart of the work by John E. Weaver in Nebraska, USA. These scans of the original drawings, made by Univ.-Prof. Dr. E. Lichtenegger (d. 2004), cover a wide variety of species ranging from agricultural crops to associated weeds, but also natural vegetation, from orchids to alpine shrubs and trees. The drawings are those of rooting systems of individual species carefully isolated from their environment, and drawn in fine detail. 

Copyrights and credits

If you want to use and/or distribute the scans of the original drawings of the Root Systems you need to contact the copyright holders of this collection. For information: http://wurzelforschung.at.

Set of images from the Atlasses:

The drawings, their analysis and descriptions were done by three researchers of the Pflanzensoziologisches Institut, Klagenfurt (now in Bad Goisern, Austria), led by Prof. Dr. Lore Kutschera (1917-2008).

The researchers continued to draw their findings although others started to use photography or root samples. Sometimes they spent their holidays making drawings. One day they were preparing a root sample on a small hill in the Netherlands. An employee of 'Rijkswaterstaat' ordered them to leave, because they were damaging a dike.

Ecologists and soil physicists found WUR funding to scan this unique set of drawings in archive quality. The drawings were scanned in Vienna. Klaas Metselaar, researcher at Soil Physics and Land Management, coded the figure captions of one part of the 'Wurzelatlas'. Captions from this atlas are now available for statistical analysis. The dataset is stored in the e-depot. The coding of the captions of the other atlases is ongoing.

dr. ir. Klaas Metselaar, Dept of Environmental Sciences
dr. ir. Klaas Metselaar, Dept of Environmental Sciences

Examples

Acorus calamus
Acorus calamus

Phaseolus vulgaris var. nanus (Pen drawing)
Phaseolus vulgaris var. nanus (Pen drawing)

Solanum tuberosum
Solanum tuberosum