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The effect of root surface area on the water uptake and transpiration rate of maize [Zea mays] plants  [1998]

He, W.S. (Chiba Univ., Matsudo (Japan). Faculty of Horticulture) Nakayama, K. Yu, G.R.

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According to the reported mechanism of water uptake and hydromechanical methodology, a theoretical model showing the relationship between the water uptake, transpiration rate and root surface area was developed. The effect of root surface area on water uptake and transpiration rate of maize plants cultivated hydroponically and in soil was examined using this model. Transpiration rate of the plants was measured by load cell using gravity method. Root length was measured according to Newman. Root volume was measured by putting the roots into a measuring cylinder containing water. Water movement coefficient of root system was estimated using pressure chamber method. Regardless of cultivation methods, transpiration rate was low for plants with small root surface area. It was obvious that root surface area had a close relationship with the resistance of water uptake and transpiration rate of the plants. From the measurements of water saturation deficit of leaf, it was clear that plants with smaller root surface area are more sensitive to water stress than those with larger root surface area. Strong correlation between the meteorological conditions and transpiration rate per unit leaf area was observed. High solar radiation led to high temperature, and hence to a high transpiration rate of the plants. Solar radiation is the most important factor among the meteorological conditions influencing the transpiration rate of the plants. A multiple regression equation w
as abstained for estimating the transpiration rate per unit leaf area of the plants as affected by the ratio of leaf area to root surface area and the meteorological conditions. The maximum transpiration rate per ;unit leaf area was higher for plants cultivated in soil than those cultivated hydroponically. Compared to plants cultivated hydroponically, plants cultivated in soil needed larger root surface area for their normal growth

From the journal

Technical Bulletin of Faculty of Horticulture - Chiba University (Japan)

ISSN : 0069-3227

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