The porosity of soil aggregates from bulk soil and from soil adhering to roots
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Total porosity and pore-size distribution (p.s.d.) were determined in soil aggregates taken in plots planted with maize and treated with farmyard manure and three rates of compost. Soil aggregates were collected from the soil adherent to the maize roots (root soil aggregates) and from bulk soil (bulk soil aggregates). Mercury intrusion porosimetry was used to evaluate the total porosity and the p.s.d. Treatments did not affect the total porosity of the bulk soil aggregates. The same was observed for the root soil aggregates. However the total porosity of the root soil aggregates was always lower than that of the bulk soil aggregates. The loss of total porosity was found to be due to a decrease in the percentage of larger pores with respect to the total.
Key wordsMaize roots Mercury porosimetry Pore-size distribution Porosity Soil aggregates
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