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Root growth and nitrate uptake of three different catch crops in deep soil layers

Kristensen, Hanne L. and Thorup-Kristensen, Kristian (2004) Root growth and nitrate uptake of three different catch crops in deep soil layers. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 68, pp. 529-537.

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Catch crops can reduce NO3 losses from leaching, but little is known about the importance of deep rooting for the efficiency of NO3 depletion. In a field experiment, we investigated the N uptake and root growth of three types of catch crops using minirhizotrons (glass tubes of 70-mm o.d.) reaching 2.4 m. Our purpose was to evaluate minirhizotron methodology and the importance of deep rooting in the ability of catch crops to take up NO3 from deep soil layers. Nitrogen uptake was studied over a 6-d period at the end of October by injection of 15NO3 at four depths in the ranges: 0.4 to 1, 0.5 to 1.4, and 1 to 2.5 m under Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.), winter rye (Secale cereale L.), and fodder radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. oleiformis Pers.), respectively. The root depth of the three species were 0.6, 1.1, and more than 2.4 m, respectively. No 15N was taken up from placements below root depth, and linear relationships were found between root density and 15N uptake from different depths. Residual soil NO3 of 18, 59, and 87 kg N ha−1 was left under fodder radish, winter rye, and ryegrass, respectively. The measurements obtained with the minirhizotron method were highly relevant for evaluating N uptake from different soil layers, and root depths of the catch crops were important for N depletion. Knowledge about root growth and N uptake in deep soil layers may be utilized when designing crop rotations with improved N use efficiency. Where N has been left by a preceding crop and leached to deeper soil layers, it may be recycled by deep-rooted catch crops.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems
Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Cereals, pulses and oilseeds
Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF III (2005-2010) > VEGQURE - Organic cropping Systems for Vegetable production
Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > Faculty of Science and Technology
Deposited By: Kristensen, Ph.D. Hanne Lakkenborg
ID Code:32024
Deposited On:14 Aug 2017 12:46
Last Modified:14 Aug 2017 12:46
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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