Significance of root hairs at the field scale – modelling root water and phosphorus uptake under different field conditions

S. Ruiz, Nicolai Koebernick, S. Duncan, D. McKay Fletcher, C. Scotson, A. Boghi, M. Marin, A. G. Bengough, T. S. George, L. K. Brown, P. D. Hallett, T. Roose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and aims
Root hairs play a significant role in phosphorus (P) extraction at the pore scale. However, their importance at the field scale remains poorly understood.

Methods
This study uses a continuum model to explore the impact of root hairs on the large-scale uptake of P, comparing root hair influence under different agricultural scenarios. High vs low and constant vs decaying P concentrations down the soil profile are considered, along with early vs late precipitation scenarios.

Results
Simulation results suggest root hairs accounted for 50% of total P uptake by plants. Furthermore, a delayed initiation time of precipitation potentially limits the P uptake rate by over 50% depending on the growth period. Despite the large differences in the uptake rate, changes in the soil P concentration in the domain due to root solute uptake remains marginal when considering a single growth season. However, over the duration of 6 years, simulation results showed that noticeable differences arise over time.

Conclusion
Root hairs are critical to P capture, with uptake efficiency potentially enhanced by coordinating irrigation with P application during earlier growth stages of crops.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-304
JournalPlant and Soil
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - 6 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

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