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Effects of irrigation strategies and soils on field grown potatoes: root distribution

Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

Seyed Hamid Ahmadi, Finn Plauborg, Mathias Neumann Andersen, Ali Reza Sepaskhah, Christian Richardt Jensen, Søren Hansen

Root distribution of field grown potatoes (cv. Folva) was studied in 4.32 m2 lysimeters and subjected to full (FI), deficit (DI), and partial root-zone drying (PRD) irrigation strategies. Drip irrigation was applied for all irrigations. Irrigations were run in three different soils: coarse sand, loamy sand, and sandy loam. Irrigation treatments started after tuber bulking and lasted until final harvest with PRD and DI receiving 65% of FI. Potatoes irrigated with water-saving irrigation techniques (PRD and DI) did not show statistically different dry root mass and root length density (RLD, cm root per cm3 soil) compared with root development in fully irrigated (FI) potatoes. Highest RLD existed in the top 30–40 cm of the ridge below which it decreased sharply. The RLD was distributed homogenously along the ridge and furrow but heterogeneously across the ridge and furrow with highest root density in the furrow. Most roots accumulated in the surface layers of coarse sand as compared to the other soil types. In the deep soil profile (30–70 cm) a higher root density was found in loamy sand compared with the sandy loam and coarse sand. Approximately twice the amounts of roots were found below the furrows compared with the corresponding layers below the ridges. The RLD values in the soil profile of the ridges and the furrows followed the Gerwitz and Page model: RLD = a × exp(-ß × z). The highest value of surface root density (a) and rate of change in density (ß) was found in coarse sand while the lowest values of a and ß were found in the sandy loam and loamy sand. The model estimated the effective rooting depth in coarse sand and sandy loam quite well but did slightly overestimate it in the loamy sand. Statistical analysis showed that one a and ß value can be used for each soil irrespective of the irrigation treatment. Thus, the effective rooting depths corresponding to root length densities of 0.1 and 0.25 cm cm-3 for sandy loam, loamy sand, and coarse sand soils were 99, 141, and 94 cm, and 80, 115, and 78 cm, respectively, calculated from top of the ridge. The findings of this study can be used in practice for efficient use of water and nutrients in the field.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAgricultural Water Management
Volume98
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1280-1290
Number of pages11
ISSN0378-3774
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

    Research areas

  • BRIC - Root lenght density, Root distribution modeling, Partial root-zone drying irrigation, Deficit irrigation, Full irrigation, soil texture

ID: 33595866