Plant and Soil

, Volume 94, Issue 1, pp 143–146 | Cite as

Water uptake by barley roots as affected by the osmotic and matric potential in the rhizosphere

  • U. Schleiff
Short Communications


The water uptake rates of roots in saline soils are depressed by the simultaneously decreasing matric\(\left( {\psi _M } \right)\) and osmotic\(\left( {\psi _0 } \right)\) water potentials in the soil surrounding the roots (rhizospheric soil). Unfortunately there are no reliable tools available for direct measurements of the effect of decreasing water potentials in the rhizospheric soil on the uptake rate of soil water by roots. This paper presents some results of a vegetation technique for studying the effect of different combinations of osmotic and matric water potentials in the rhizospheric soil on the water uptake rates of barley roots.

Water uptake rates were reduced to a greater extent by decreasing soil matric water potentials than by decreasing soil osmotic water potentials. According to the results of this experiment, there was no relationship between the total soil water potential\(\left( {\psi _T } \right)\) of a sandy soil and the water uptake rates when the roots were exposed to different combinations of\(\psi _M\) and\(\psi _0\).

Key words

Barley Rhizosphere Salt tolerance Soil water potential 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Schleiff
    • 1
  1. 1.ETH-Zürich Department of Crop ScienceEschikon-LindauSwitzerland

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