Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

M. L. Himmelbauer and V. Novák:

Root distribution functions of spring barley, winter rye and maize


Root parameter distributions are needed for estimation of water uptake by plants in macroscale models. The main objective of the study was to assess and compare vertical distributions of dry mass, length and surface area of roots of spring barley, winter rye and maize grown under equivalent environmental conditions. Root samples were collected using soil monolith method at early crop growth stages. The relative vertical distributions of all studied parameters expressed as root distribution functions were approximately exponential, with no considerable differences between their shapes. Statistically highly significant relationships were established between the dry mass density, and the length and surface area densities of roots, which is essential for alternative expressions by the root sink term estimation.

Key words:  Water uptake modelling, root parameters, root sink term, crops.