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Effect of compact sub-soil and water stress on shoot and root activity of corn (Zea mays L.) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in a growth chamber



Effect of compact sub-soil and water stress on shoot and root activity of corn (Zea mays L.) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) in a growth chamber



Plant and Soil 66(3): 291-298



The soil, as a medium for plant growth, not only affects the development and activity of roots directly but it also affects the growth and yield of the aboveground parts by modifying the function of the roots. This investigation, conducted in a controlled environment chamber, suggests that more complicated responses to shoot-root development may occur when soil moisture characteristics are altered during wet and dry years by disturbing the compact sub-soil. The pattern of shoot-root development, as affected by compaction and water stress, differs in shallow-rooted and deep-rooted crops like corn (Z. mays L.) and alfalfa (M. sativa L.), respectively. For example, at 15 cm depth of both and compact and loose soils, water matric potential values were higher for alfalfa as compared to corn, irrespective of the wet or dry year. The drier condition in the surface soil planted to corn was attributable to the higher transpiration of corn plants. On the other hand, as indicted by the water matric potential figures, the soil at a depth of 60 cm had a higher moisture content for corn than for alfalfa.

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Accession: 001066739

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DOI: 10.1007/bf02183796


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