Non-destructive measurement of wheat roots in large undisturbed and repacked clay soil cores View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

1985-06

AUTHORS

W. S. Meyer, H. D. Barrs

ABSTRACT

Non-destructive observations of root growth and distribution can be obtained from counting root intercepts with observation tubers inserted in the root zone. This paper describes the technique of inserting clear acrylic tubes horizontally into large undisturbed and repacked soil cores. Counts of roots intersecting scribed lines on the sides of the tubes were made with a fibrescope. Comparison was made between observation root tubes of different diameter (25 and 38.5 mm). The r2 values for the relationships between root intercept counts and destructively determined values of root length density (RLD) ranged from 0.78 to 0.96. The larger diameter tubes had higher r2 values. Theoretical calibration of the technique does not appear to be possible since analysis indicated that fewer roots intersected the scribed lines on the observation tube than would have been expected from a non-disturbed, randomly distributed root system. It is not known if this discrepancy is due to non-randomness or to an artifact associated with the insertion of the observation tube. Roots were not more prolific at the edge of the soil cores. Comparison of values of root length per unit soil surface area, rates of downward root growth and water uptake rates were within the ranges previously reported for wheat roots of field crops grown on clay soils. Observed root growth and distribution was found to be sensitive to four soil and water treatments imposed. It is concluded that the technique will allow quantitative analysis of root growth and distribution in undisturbed soil cores. More... »

PAGES

237-247

Journal

TITLE

Plant and Soil

ISSUE

2

VOLUME

85

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/bf02139628

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/bf02139628

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1051345824


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