Plant and Soil

, Volume 119, Issue 1, pp 59–70 | Cite as

Root growth, macro-nutrient uptake dynamics and soil fertility requirements of a high-yielding winter oilseed rape crop

  • P. B. Barraclough


Shoot growth, root growth and macro-nutrient uptake by a high-yielding (5t/ha grain) winter oilseed rape crop have been measured. Maximum rooting density in the top 20cm of soil was 9.4 cm cm−3 and roots reached a depth of at least 1.8 m. Maximum nutrient uptakes were 364 kg ha−1 for N, 43 kg ha−1 for P, 308 kg ha−1 for K, 287 kg ha−1 for Ca and 16 kg ha−1 for Mg. A 30-day drought coincided with the flowering period and root and shoot growth, as well as nutrient uptake rates, were reduced. Nutrient concentrations in the soil solution necessary to sustain the nutrient fluxes into the root system by diffusive supply have been calculated. Peak values were in the range 10 μM for P to 87 μM for N, lower than the observed concentrations, and it was concluded that nutrient transport to roots was not a limitation to uptake by this rape crop.

Key words

nutrient uptake oilseed rape roots soil fertility 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. B. Barraclough
    • 1
  1. 1.Crop Production Department, AFRC Institute of Arable Crops ResearchRothamsted Experimental StationHarpendenUK

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