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New Rootsnap Sensor Reveals the Ameliorating Effect of Biochar on In Situ Root Growth Dynamics of Maize in Sandy Soil

Ahmed, Fauziatu and Arthur, Emmanuel and Liu, Hui and Neumann Andersen, Mathias (2020). New Rootsnap Sensor Reveals the Ameliorating Effect of Biochar on In Situ Root Growth Dynamics of Maize in Sandy Soil. Frontiers in Plant Science. 11 , 949 , 1-12
[Journal article]

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Abstract

We investigated if subsoil constraints to root development imposed by coarse sand were affected by drought and biochar application over two seasons. Biochar was applied to the subsoil of pots at 20–50 cm depth in concentrations of 0%, 1%, 2%, and 3% (B0, B1, B2,and B3). Maize was grown in the same pots 1 week and 12 months after biochar application. The maize plants were fully irrigated until flowering; thereafter, half of them were subjected to drought. A new method for observing root growth dynamics and rootlength density in situ, the Rootsnap sensor system, was developed. The sensors were installed at 50 cm depth just below the layer of biochar-amended subsoil. Using data from a smaller experiment with grass, the calculated root length densities from the sensors were compared with data from scanning of manually washed roots. In year 2, we investigated the effect of aged biochar on root growth using only the root wash and scanning method. The Rootsnap sensor revealed that the arrival time of the first root in B3at the 50 cm depth averaged 47 days after planting, which was significantly earlier than in B0, by 9 days. The tendency for faster root proliferation in biochar-amended subsoil indicates that biochar reduced subsoil mechanical impedance and allowed roots to gain faster access to deep soil layers. A linear regression comparing root length density obtained from the Rootsnap sensor with the scanning method yielded an r(2) of 0.50. Our analysis using the scanning method further showed that under drought stress, maizeroots responded with reduced root diameter and increased root length density at 50–70cm depth in the first and second year, respectively. The trend under full irrigation was less clear, with significant decrease in root length density for B1 and B2 in year 2. Overall, reduction in subsoil mechanical impedance observed as early arrival of roots to the subsoil may prevent or delay the onset of drought and reduce leaching of nutrients in biochar-amended soil with positive implications for agricultural productivity.

Authors/Creators:Ahmed, Fauziatu and Arthur, Emmanuel and Liu, Hui and Neumann Andersen, Mathias
Title:New Rootsnap Sensor Reveals the Ameliorating Effect of Biochar on In Situ Root Growth Dynamics of Maize in Sandy Soil
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:11
Article number:949
Number of Pages:12
Publisher:Frontiers
ISSN:1664-462X
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Soil Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
Keywords:maize root, straw biochar, subsoil, in situroot method, drought stress
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-106629
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-106629
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3389/fpls.2020.00949
ID Code:17214
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Crop Production Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:10 Jul 2020 07:57
Metadata Last Modified:01 Aug 2020 10:42

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