The effects of irrigation on root density profiles of potato, celery, and wheat
¹Crop Research Institute, v.v.i, Drnovská 507, CZ161 06 Praha 6, Czech Republic
²Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation, v.v.i., Žabovřeská 250, CZ15600 Praha 5 - Zbraslav, Czech Republic
Irrigation rate should correspond to the effective root depth, however, crop root growth is influenced by a number of factors, and little data is available on the impact of irrigation. This contribution presents the results of several experiments in which the influence of sprinkler or drip irrigations on root density distribution of shallow, medium and deep rooted crops within the soil profile were studied. Irrigation significantly increased the root density of potato, celery, and wheat in the topsoil zone. On the contrary, at most cases there was only a slightly reduced root density in the subsoil layers. Total root length, to maximum root depth, only increased significantly with drip irrigation in potato. The root depths of these crops were not significantly modified by irrigation. The results suggest that the use of a constant value for the calculation of maximum irrigation depth in a specific crop may not correspond to the variability of root depth nor the distribution in different years or fields.