Effects of waterlogging soil on the growth of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
Trought, M. C. T.
PublisherUniversity of Reading
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The effect of waterlogging on concentrations of dissolved gases and various solutes in soil were investigated in the laboratory, to determine whether early symptoms of-waterlogging damage in wheat (Triticum aestivum L. ) were associated with specific changes in the soil. Waterlogging restricted fresh weight and nutrient accumulation by the shoot, and the growth of the seminal roots. Shoot dry weight accumulation was initially increased above that of the non-waterlogged controls, and thus was a poor measure Of damage when used alone. Symptoms of damage were associated with the fall in soil oxygen concentrations, rather than any changes in soil nutrient concentrations, or the production of toxins: the symptoms of waterlogging damage could be reproduced by deoxygenating solution cultures. The extent to which damage was due to the inability of roots to absorb nutrients from anaerobic media, and whether this could be attributed to low oxygen concentrations alone were investigated and discussed. Applications of nitrogen compounds during the waterlogging period delayed the onset of premature leaf senescence, but did not assist shoot or root growth. However , shoot growth during the anaerobic period was associated with the shoot nutrient content at the start of that period, and high nitrate concentrations in the rooting medium were beneficial, if supplied before the onset of the anaerobic period. Experiments carried out at different soil temperatures showed that providing there was no abrupt change in temperature at the start of the waterlogging period, the soil temperature had little effect on the growth of the waterlogged plants when expressed as a percentage of the non-waterlogged controls