Roots in some plants change their shape and structure and become modified to perform functions other than absorption and conduction of water and minerals. They are modified for support storage of food and respiration (Figure). Tap roots of carrot, turnips and adventitious roots of sweet potato, get swollen and store food.
Have you ever wondered what those hanging structures are that support a banyan tree? These are called prop roots. Similarly, the stems of maize and sugarcane have supporting roots coming out of the lower nodes of the stem. These are called stilt roots.
In some plants such as Rhizophora growing in swampy areas, many roots come out of the ground and grow vertically upwards. Such roots, called pneumatopbores, help to get oxygen for respiration.
Fig: Modification of root for: (a) storage (b) respiration: pneumatophore in Rhizophora