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A method for in situ determination of genotype root efficiency

, : A method for in situ determination of genotype root efficiency. Zeitschrift fuer Acker- und Pflanzenbau 149(5): 391-397

A method is described which enables studies on barley root growth and root efficiency under controlled conditions, i.e., soil density, soil water potential and nutrient supply. The roots can develop in soil columns (total length 120 cm) of 4 compartments in plexiglass tubes of 30 cm each. In every compartment an adjustable constant soil water potential can be maintained during the whole vegetation period by ceramic cells which are inserted in the soil of a well defined density. The cells are connected to an automized system for water supply at a given soil water potential. Effects of soil compaction, nutrient supply and salt concentration can also be examined at different root zones. The rational carrying out of a big number of treatments enables the investigation of several cultivars or genotypes. At a lower soil water potential (-0.1 bar) the main active zone of water uptake were the zones 0-30 and 30-60 cm.


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