root–shoot ratio

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root–shoot ratio The ratio of the weights of the roots to the shoots of a plant. Plants with a higher proportion of roots can compete more effectively for soil nutrients, while those with a higher proportion of shoots can collect more light energy. Large proportions of shoot production are characteristic of vegetation in early successional phases, while high proportions of root production are characteristic of climax vegetational phases, and to some extent individual species develop different ratios according to their situation.