Effect of Crop Root on Soil Water Retentivity and Movement


The objective of this study was to clarify the effect of crop root on soil water retentivity and movement to improve the crop growth environment and irrigation efficiency. To simulate soil water movement considering the crop root effect on the physical properties of soil, a numerical model describing the soil water and heat transfers was introduced. Cultivation experiments were conducted to clarify the effect of the crop root on soil water retentivity and verify the accuracy of the numerical model. The relationship between soil water retentivity and the root content of soil samples was clarified by soil water retention curves. The soil water content displayed a high value with increasing crop root content in the high volumetric water content zone. The experimental results indicated that the saturated water content increased with the crop root content because of the porosity formed by the crop root. The differences of the soil water retentivity became smaller when the value of the matric potential was over pF 1.5. To verify the accuracy of the numerical model, an observation using acrylic slit pot was also conduced. The temporal and spatial changes of the volumetric water content and soil temperature were measured. Soil water and heat transfers, which considered the effect of the crop root on the soil water retentivity clarified by the soil water retention curves, were simulated. Simulated volumetric water content and temperature of soil agreed with observed data. This indicated that the numerical model used to simulate the soil water and heat transfer considering the crop root effect on soil water retentivity was satisfactory. Using this model, spatial and temporal changes of soil water content were simulated. The soil water condition of the root zone was relatively high compared with the initial conditions. This indicated that the volumetric water condition of the root zone increased with the soil water extraction and high soil water conditions was maintained because the soil water retentivity of root zone increased with the root effect.

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K. Yuge, K. Shigematsu, M. Anan and S. Yoshiyuki, "Effect of Crop Root on Soil Water Retentivity and Movement," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 12A, 2012, pp. 1782-1787. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2012.312A218.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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