It has been a great pleasure to absorb the greater part of this well-edited volume, which is the proceedings of a BES meeting. Over 50 authors contributed to the 29 chapters of this volume. Some papers are challenging, only a few are boring, and the majority of papers present thorough studies. This general characterization of the papers does not only depend on the ‘state of the art’, but mainly on whether the authors of a chapter are able to embody the subtitle of this book: an ecological perspective. I will highlight a few of the papers. The first part of the volume—Roots in an Ecological Context—is composed of one paper by Harper et at. dealing with, e.g. the evolution of roots. By the time roots evolved, soils already had a well-developed fauna and flora. The authors propose that genes for root development originated by plasmid transfer after wounding by microbial infection. Anchorage and resource acquisition being the primary functions of root systems, root architecture can be considered a compromise of conflicts. Later on, Robinson similarly states that ‘roots are natural selection’s “design solution” (not by any means a perfect solution) to the problem of obtaining resources from a heterogeneous, porous, semi-compressible medium containing solid, liquid and gaseous phases’. Fitter suggests that, as relatively simple relationships can be discerned, root system topology may be a conservative characteristic in plant evolution.