Chromatographic characterization of the roots of the main tree species in the Alps

The project aims to characterize the main roots of woody plants/shrubs spread over the Alps by the chromatographic technique HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography), in order to highlight the differences between the various species and develop a new process for the identification of plants, starting from their roots in the soil.

This research will have important applied implications. In fact, if we are able to recognize a species of plant from its root, we can more easily analyze the plants’s roots in their natural environment and acquire many data relating to the physical, biometric, mechanical and chemical properties of the roots of various species. This will allow a better understanding of how the roots of individual species behave in nature and how they interact to form the rhizosphere. Such information is the basis to be able to use wisely the plants in soil stabilization’s works and, more generally, in the environmental restoration of mountain areas in order to prevent catastrophic events and safeguard the territory.

The project is underway and now we are collecting roots’ samples of six species of trees/shrubs (beech, spruce, hazel, larch, birch and ash) in different spread throughout Alps.
The idea of ​​developing a work of this kind was born following a pilot project -carried out by the Mountain University’s researchers- that returned interesting results.

Funding Body
CrC Ge.S.Di.Mont
Start Year
End Year

Luca Giupponi, Alessandra Manzo, Sara Panseri, Gigliola Borgonovo

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