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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 70 No. 4, p. 639-643
    Received: May 10, 1977

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Root Growth Along Plexiglas Surfaces by Sugarcane Under Different Soil Salinity Conditions1

  1. C. J. Gerard2



Root growth responses by sugarcane (Saccharura officinarum L.) to stress induced by salinity as a function of time or growth stage have not previously been investigated. This type of investigation is essential to a better understanding of the tolerance of plants such as sugarcane to salinity or stress. Root environment chambers seem to provide the best opportunity to study the growth interactions of roots and tops of plants and their envixonment. Root growth in soils irrigated with waters with electrical conductivities of 1.1, 5.0, and 8.0 mmhos/cm varied with stage of plant growth, time and salinity treatments. Root growth of sugarcane was greatest at soil depths of 20 to 60 cm in May, June, and July, a period of high growth rate and high evaporative conditions. During these months, average root intensities of sugarcane, irrigated with waters with salinities of 1.1, 5.0, and 8.0 mmhos/cm, were about 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 mm/cm2, respectively. Moisture stress induced by osmotic potentials of about −1.8 and −2.9 bar and high evaporative conditions stimulated root intensities but reduced top. growth by 22 and 50%, respectively. These studies using root chambers have contributed to a better understanding of the interactive influences of stages of plant growth, salinity, and environment on root growth by sugarcane.

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