Advertisement

Plant and Soil

, Volume 201, Issue 2, pp 265–273 | Cite as

Root growth and water uptake during water deficit and recovering in wheat

  • S. Asseng
  • J.T. Ritchie
  • A.J.M. Smucker
  • M.J. Robertson
Article

Abstract

Root growth and soil water content were measured in a field experiment with wheat subjected to two periods of water deficit. The first period was induced early in the season between the early vegetative stage (22 DAS) and late terminal spikelet (50 DAS), the second period at mid-season between terminal spikelet (42 DAS) and anthesis (74 DAS). Total root growth was reduced under water deficit by a reduction in the top 30 cm, while the root system continued to grow in the deeper soil profile between 30 and 60 cm. Shortly after rewatering, the growth pattern reverted to fastest root growth rates in the shallow soil layers. In relative terms, the total root system increased in relation to the above ground dry matter under water shortage. The early-, the mid-season water deficit treatments, and the control treatment had total root length of 27.4, 19.4 and 30.6 km m-2, respectively, about 2 wk before maturity. Evapotranspiration declined under water deficit, but water uptake in deeper layers increased. Water uptake per unit root length was reduced with water deficit and was still low shortly after rewatering. Remarkable was the increase in water uptake at 2–3 weeks after rewatering, both deficit treatments exceeded the control by almost 100%. This increase in water uptake followed the burst of new root growth in the upper regions of the soil. However, water uptake rates subsequently declined towards maturity, being between 0.15 L km-1 d-1 and 0.17 L km-1 d-1 for the early and mid-season water deficit treatments, slightly higher than the control, 0.12 L km-1 d-1. The results showed that the crop subjected to early water deficit could compensate for some of the reductions in root growth during subsequent rewatering, but the impact of the mid-season water deficit treatment was more severe and permanent.

crop minirhizotron calibration rewatering root distribution root shoot ratio 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Barraclough P B and Leigh R A 1984 The growth and activity of winter wheat roots in the field: The effect of sowing date and soil type on root growth of high-yielding crops. J. Agric. Sci. 103, 59–74.Google Scholar
  2. Barraclough P B 1986 The growth and activity of winter wheat roots in the field. I. Nutrient uptakes of high-yielding crops. II. Nutrient inflows of high-yielding crops. J. Agric. Sci. 106, 45–59.Google Scholar
  3. Boehm W 1978 Untersuchungen zur Wurzelentwicklung bei Winterweizen. Z. Acker-Pflanzenbau 147, 264–269.Google Scholar
  4. Box J E, Smucker A J M and Ritchie J T 1989 Minirhizotron installation techniques for investigating root responses to drought and oxygen stresses. J. Soil Sci. 53, 115–118.Google Scholar
  5. Boyer J S 1982 Plant productivity and environment. Science 218, 443–448.Google Scholar
  6. Bradford K J and Hsiao T C 1982 Physiological responses to moderate water stress. In Encyclopedia of Plant Physiology, Physiological Plant Ecology. 2. Water Relations and Carbon Assimilation. Eds. O L Lange, P S Nobel and C B Osmond. pp 264–324. Springer Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  7. Brady D J, Wenzel C L, Fillery I R P and Gregory P G 1995 Root growth and nitrate uptake by wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) following wetting of dry surface soil. J. Exp. Bot. 46, 557–564.Google Scholar
  8. Brouwer R 1962 Nutritive influences on the distribution of dry matter in the plant. Neth. J. Agric. Sci. 10, 399–408.Google Scholar
  9. Ferguson J C and Smucker A J M 1989 Modifications of the minirhizotron video camera system for measuring spatial and temporal root dynamics. J. Soil Sci. 53, 1601–1605.Google Scholar
  10. Gregory P J, Mc Gowan M, Biscoe PV and Hunter B 1978a Water relations of winter wheat. 1. Growth of the root system. J. Agric. Sci. 91, 91–102.Google Scholar
  11. Gregory P J, Mc Gowan M and Biscoe PV 1978b Water relations of winter wheat. 2. Soil water relations. J. Agric. Sci. 91, 103–116.Google Scholar
  12. Gregory P J and Atwell B J 1991 The fate of carbon in pulse-labelled crops of barley and wheat. Plant Soil 136, 205–213.Google Scholar
  13. Hsiao T C and Bradford K J 1983 Physiological consequences of cellular water deficits. In Limitations to Efficient Water Use in Crop Production. Eds. H M Taylor, W R Jordan and T R Sinclair. pp 227–265. ASA Inc., CSA Inc., SSSA Inc., Madison, WI.Google Scholar
  14. Hsiao T C 1990 Crop water requirement and productivity. In AGRITECH '90 Israel, 5th International Conference on Irrigation. pp 5–18. Proceedings.Google Scholar
  15. Huck M G, Ishihara K, Peterson C M and Ushijima T 1983 Soybean adaptation to water stress at selected stages of growth. Plant Physiol. 73, 422–427.Google Scholar
  16. Huck M G, Hoogenboom G and Peterson C M 1987 Soybean root senescence under drought stress. In Minirhizotron Observation Tubes: Methods and Applications for Measuring Rhizosphere Dynamics. Ed. H M Tayler. pp 109–122. ASA special publication 50, Madison, WI.Google Scholar
  17. Kaetterer T, Hansson A C and Andren O 1993 Wheat root biomass and nitrogen dynamics — effects of daily irrigation and fertilisation. Plant Soil 151, 21–30.Google Scholar
  18. Klepper B, Taylor H M, Huck M G and Fiscus E L 1973 Water relations and growth of cotton in drying soil. Agron. J. 65, 307–310.Google Scholar
  19. Klepper B 1987 Origin, branching and distribution of root systems. In Root Development and Function. Eds. P J Gregory J V Lake and D A Rose. pp 103–123. SEB Seminar Series 30, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  20. Levan M A, Ycas J W and Hummel J W 1987 Light leak effects on near-surface soybean rooting. In Minirhizotron Observation Tubes: Methods and Applications for Measuring Rhizosphere Dynamics. Ed. H M Tayler. pp 89–98. ASA special publication, 50, Madison, WI.Google Scholar
  21. Martin E C, Ritchie T J, Reese S M, Loudon T L and Knezek B 1988 A larger-area, lightweight rainshelter with programmable control. Trans. Amer. Soc. Agric. Engin. 31, 1440–1444.Google Scholar
  22. Meyer W S, Dunin F X, Smith R C G, Shell G S G, and White N S 1987 Caracterizing water use by irrigated wheat at Griffith, New South Wales. Aust. J. Soil Res. 25, 499–515.Google Scholar
  23. Meyer W S, Tan C S, Barrs H D and Smith R C G 1990 Root growth and water uptake by wheat during drying of undisturbed and repacked soil in drainage lysimeters. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 41, 253–265.Google Scholar
  24. NeSmith D S 1990 Growth responses of corn (Zea mays L.) to intermittent soil water deficits. Dissertation, Michigan State University, East Lansing. 222 p.Google Scholar
  25. NeSmith D S and Ritchie J T 1992 Short-and long-term responses of corn to a pre-anthesis soil water deficit. Agron. J. 84, 107–113.Google Scholar
  26. Ritchie J T, Godwin D C and Otter S 1985 CERES-Wheat: A user oriented wheat yield model. Preliminary documentation. AGRISTARS Publication No. YM–U3–04442-JSC-18892, p 252. Michigan State University, MI.Google Scholar
  27. Robertson M J, Fukai S, Ludlow M M and Hammer G L 1993 Water extraction by grain sorghum in a sub-humid environment. II. Extraction in relation to root growth. Field Crops Res. 33, 99–112.Google Scholar
  28. Robertson M J and Giunta F 1994 Responses of spring wheat exposed to pre-anthesis water stress. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 45, 19–35.Google Scholar
  29. Smucker A J M, Ferguson J C, DeBruyn W P, Belford R L and Ritchie J T 1987 Image analysis of video recorded plant root systems. In Minirhizotron Observation Tubes: Methods and Applications for Measuring Rhizosphere Dynamics. Ed. H M Tayler. pp 67–80. ASA special publication, 50, Madison, WI.Google Scholar
  30. Smucker A J M 1990 Quantification of root dynamics in agroecological systems. Remote Sensing Rev. 5, 237–248.Google Scholar
  31. Taylor H M and Klepper B 1974 Water relations of cotton. I. Root growth and water use as related to top growth and soil water content. Agron. J. 66, 584–588.Google Scholar
  32. Taylor H M and Klepper B 1975 Water uptake by cotton root systems: An examination of assumptions in the single root model. Soil Sci. 120, 57–67.Google Scholar
  33. Upchurch D R and Ritchie J T 1983 Root observation using a video recording system in minirhizotrons. Agron. J. 75, 1009–1015.Google Scholar
  34. Weir A H and Barraclough P B 1986 The effect of drought on the root growth of winter wheat and on its water uptake from a deep loam. Soil Use Manage. 2, 91–96.Google Scholar
  35. Wraith J M, Baker J M and Blake T K 1995 Water uptake resumption following soil drought: a comparison among four barley genotypes. J. Exp. Bot. 46, 873–880.Google Scholar
  36. Yamaguchi J and Tanaka A 1990 Quantitative observation on the root system of various crops growing in the field. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr. 36, 483–493.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Asseng
    • 1
  • J.T. Ritchie
    • 1
  • A.J.M. Smucker
    • 1
  • M.J. Robertson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Crop and Soil SciencesMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.CSIRO Plant IndustryWembleyAustralia

Personalised recommendations