, Volume 202, Issue 2, pp 281-293

Transient three-dimensional modeling of soil water and solute transport with simultaneous root growth, root water and nutrient uptake

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A three-dimensional solute transport model was developed and linked to a three-dimensional transient model for soil water flow and root growth. The simulation domain is discretized into a grid of finite elements by which the soil physical properties are spatially distributed. Solute transport modeling includes passive and active nutrient uptake by roots as well as zero- and first-order source/sink terms. Root water uptake modeling accounts for matric and osmotic potential effects on water and passive nutrient uptake. Root age effects on root water and nutrient uptake activity have been included, as well as the influence of nutrient deficiency and ion toxicity on root growth. Examples illustrate simulations with different levels of model complexity, depending on the amount of information available to the user. At the simplest level, root growth is simulated as a function of mechanical soil strength only. Application of the intermediate level with root water and nutrient uptake simulates the influence of timing and amount of NO3 application on leaching. The most comprehensive level includes simulation of root and shoot growth as influenced by soil water and nutrient status, temperature, and dynamic allocation of assimilate to root and shoot.