In a field experiment, the pattern and size of shrinkage cracks were studied under three vegetative covers of wheat crop, grass and cultivated fallow. Both the pattern and size of cracking varied widely. Under wheat crop, the major cracks developed parallel to the rows particularly midway between the two rows of plants. The cracks were few in number and simple in nature. And so was the case under grass where the major cracks developed either in between or around the grass tussocks. However, under cultivated fallow development of too many cracks forming an intricate network showed no definite pattern of cracking. In a soil other than the cultivated fallow, the pattern of cracking appeared to be a function of positioning of the plants rather than of the soil itself.
As far as the size of cracks is concerned, the widest and deepest cracks developed under wheat crop and narrowest and shallowest under cultivated fallow. Under grass, the width and depth of the cracks was observed to be intermediate between the two extremes of wheat and cultivated fallow. The size of cracks seemed to depend on the magnitude of water loss from the soil. re]19760713
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Sharma, R.B., Verma, G.P. Characterization of shrinkage cracks in medium black clay soil of madhya pradesh. Plant Soil 48, 323–333 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02187244
- Plant Physiology
- Field Experiment
- Vegetative Cover