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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Effect of Root Pruning on Water Relations and Growth of Cotton1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 66 No. 4, p. 591-592

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  1. J. R. Stansell,
  2. Betty Klepper,
  3. V. Douglas Browning and
  4. H. M. Taylor2



To investigate changes in plant water use and growth rates brought about by the loss of a part of a root system, an experiment was conducted to determine quantitatively the effects of removing pan of a cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) root system. Approximately one-fourth of the total root length was severed by forcing a sharp-edged plate horizontally through the soil from front to rear of a rhizotron compartment. Root length was estimated from the number of roots appearing at the glass viewing surface of the compartment. Stem diameters were monitored continuously with linear variable differential transformers. Plant height was measured daily. Growth reductions after root pruning were greater when the root system was small and concentrated in the upper 25 cm of soil than when the root system was larger and confined to the upper 50 cm of soil. Consequently, effects of root damage by cultivation or by root pathogens may, in part, depend on the size and extent of the root system at the time of damage.

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