Table II. Example output measures possible with the RootNav viewer tool, operating on a database of previously reconstructed root architectures
TraitUnitDescription
Total lengthPixels or mmThe total length of all root material; can be calculated separately for each plant and each root within a plant
Average lengthPixels or mmThe average length of all roots in a given plant; can calculate separate values for all roots or just primary or lateral roots
Primary root countThe number of primary roots in a given plant
Lateral root countThe number of lateral roots in a given plant; can also calculate the number of lateral roots for a given primary root
Convex hull areaPixels2 or mm2The area of the convex hull that encompasses all rot material belonging to a given plant
TortuosityThe true length of a given root divided by the Euclidean distance from the source to the tip of that root; an average of this value for all roots in a given plant can also be calculated
Maximum widthPixels or mmThe maximum width of the root system for all depths; only points at equal depths are considered
Maximum depthPixels or mmThe maximum depth achieved by the root system
Network aspect ratioThe maximum width of the root system divided by the maximum depth; providing a measure of the aspect ratio of the root system
Width profilePixels or mm over lengthA two-dimensional data set showing the measurement of the width of a plant root architecture over changes in depth
Curvature profileDegrees over lengthA two-dimensional data set showing the angle of curvature of the root over changes in depth