Oxygen transport in soil and the vertical distribution of roots

Cook, Freeman, Knight, John, & Kelliher, Francis (2007) Oxygen transport in soil and the vertical distribution of roots. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 45(2), pp. 101-110.

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Abstract

An analytical solution for steady-state oxygen transport in soils including 2 sink terms, viz roots and microbes with the corresponding vertical distribution scaling lengths forming a ratio p, showed p governed the critical air-filled porosity, θc, needed by most plants. For low temperature and p, θc was <0.1 but at higher temperatures and p = 1, θc was >0.15 m3/m3. When root length density at the surface was 104 m/m3 and p > 3, θc was 0.25 m3/m3, more than half the pore space. Few combinations of soil and climate regularly meet this condition. However, for sandy soils and seasonally warm, arid regions, the theory is consistent with observation, in that plants may have some deep roots. Critical θc values are used to formulate theoretical solutions in a forward mode, so different levels of oxygen uptake by roots may be compared to microbial activity. The proportion of respiration by plant roots increases rapidly with p up to p ≈2.

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6 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 45188
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: oxygen, roots, root respiration, soil respiration, soil aeration
DOI: 10.1071/SR06137
ISSN: 0004-9573
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > SOIL SCIENCES (050300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > SOIL SCIENCES (050300) > Soil Physics (050305)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES (070000)
Deposited On: 24 Aug 2011 22:17
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2016 05:13

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