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The use of the ingrowth core method for measuring root production of arable crops: Influence of soil conditions inside the ingrowth core on root growth

, : The use of the ingrowth core method for measuring root production of arable crops: Influence of soil conditions inside the ingrowth core on root growth. Journal of Plant Nutrition & Soil Science 163(6): 617-622, December

The ingrowth core method can be used to measure root gross growth (i.e. root production). A mesh bag filled with root free soil is buried into the root zone. After about 14 days, the bag is pulled out and root length inside the core can be determined. An objection against this method is the inability to obtain the same soil conditions inside the bag as outside, which can result in different root growth pattern in the ingrowth core compared to the bulk soil. To study this, mesh bags were buried in a stand of oilseed rape and were filled with soil at different nitrate, phosphate, moisture, and bulk density levels. Results showed that root growth was only influenced by a high nitrate content and a high soil density in the cores, which resulted in higher and lower root length densities (RLD), respectively. In a long-term ingrowth experiment similar root length densities in the cores and in the bulk soil were measured, indicating that there were no root growth enhancing or impeding conditions inside the ingrowth cores. The conclusion is drawn, that the ingrowth core method gives reliable results, provided the N content and the soil density inside the bags are comparable to the bulk soil.


DOI: 10.1002/1522-2624(200012)163:6<617::aid-jpln617>;2-0

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