2021-01-13Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/agriculture11010061
Root Distribution of Brassica napus and Vicia faba within the Sheath of Root or Earthworm Biopore
Root growth through biopores is facilitated by low mechanical impedance and nutrient enrichment due to the deposition of organic material at the biopore sheath. Plant roots and earthworms impact biopore sheath properties differently. However, the literature lacks a quantitative study of the root distribution within the sheath of pores, which were originated by taproots or earthworms. According to previous literature on pore connectivity, it can be hypothesized that precrops encourage root growth into the biopore sheath in comparison to an earthworm characterized sheath. A pot experiment was performed to compare the root distribution of spring oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) and faba bean (Vicia faba L.) within the biopore sheath of two different biopore types. The biopore sheath was characterized by taprooted chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) or anecic earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris L.). Roots were sampled at the biopore lumen and at lateral distances of 0–2, 2–4, 4–8 (sheath) and 20–36 mm (bulk soil) from the biopore wall surface. In both pore types >50% of the root length (cm) and >70% fine roots of oilseed rape were found in a comparatively small soil area (Lumen + 2 mm). On the contrary, faba bean grew primarily through the bulk soil with >75% root length and rarely into the biopore sheath in both pore types. In both species there was a lateral decrease of the total nitrogen (Nt)-content from biopore wall (Mean ± SE: 0.061% ± 0.002%) to bulk soil (0.053% ± 0.002%), but no significant difference between the pore types. The results of the current study illustrate that the root growth of spring oilseed rape and faba bean was not encouraged by the precrop in comparison to the earthworm characterized sheath.
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