Plant soil atmosphere relationship test

plant soil atmosphere relationship test

M.B. Kirkham, in Principles of Soil and Plant Water Relations (Second Edition), This chapter gives the history of the soil–plant–atmosphere continuum .. They were responsible for the design and first tests of a robust, constant heat. Request PDF on ResearchGate | Soil–Water–Plant–Atmosphere Relationship | Development of sustainable irrigation practices will require that. Purchase Principles of Soil and Plant Water Relations - 2nd Edition. Print Book & E-Book. The book also describes equipment used to measure water in the soil- plant-atmosphere system. At the end of each chapter is Types of Tests;

The SPAC is fundamental to the hydrologic cycle, the ability of plants to photosynthesize, and therefore to most life on earth.

Water potential & Soil-Plant-Atmosphere Continuum | ICT International Select Region

Understanding the SPAC is crucial in plant physiology studies. Water movement through the SPAC is driven by the passive movement of water generated by an energy gradient.


The energy gradient is created by a difference in water potential from high potential in the soil, to a gradually lower potential in the plant and the atmosphere. Figure 1 outlines the water potential gradient along the SPAC for a hypothetical tree growing in a mild environment and well-watered soil. Technology previously available to scientists could not practically or conveniently measure water potential along the SPAC.

Soil water potential, difficult at the best of times, was measured with instruments such as tensiometers and thermal matric sensors in the field, or with a pressure chamber extractor in the lab. Plant water potential was measured destructively with a plant water status console pressure bomb. Leaves were harvested from the plant at various times of the day and measurements made. To create pre-dawn values, or diurnal curves, let alone a week of continuous data, required dedicated and costly staff.

The atmosphere was the easiest to measure as all that was needed was a good quality weather station. ICT International can now provide a solution for continuous monitoring in soils, plants and the environment.

plant soil atmosphere relationship test

Figure 2 outlines the placement of various sensors along the SPAC for continuous monitoring. The roots, trunk, branches and leaves of the plant can be continuously monitored with the PSY1 Psychrometer. Figure 2 displays real data as collected from a Banksia spinulosa shrub, growing in Armidale, New South Wales, Australia.

The data in Figure 2 clearly shows a water potential gradient from high potential in the soil, to lower potentials in the trunk and canopy, and extremely low potential in the atmosphere.


Figure 3 is 7 days of continuous data from the same plant. Sunday was a hot day followed by Monday which was cloudy and cool. Late on Saturday a storm passed over the monitoring site, with rainfall reaching The processes of infiltration, profile water storage, drainage, redistribution and evaporation of water from the soil are governed by its soil-water relations.

plant soil atmosphere relationship test

The extent of runoff and erosion that erode the capacity of soil are governed by its soil water relations. The root growth and proliferation are directly related to water availability in the soil profile which also influences penetration resistance to the growing roots.

Similarly the availability and movements of nutrients, process of salinization and alkalization are directly or indirectly influenced by soil water relations. Soil-water-plant relations are deliberately combined in a relationship which can be expressed with a terminology called as Soil Plant Atmospheric Continuum SPAC. SPAC is defined as the movement of water from the soil, through the plant and to the atmosphere along an interconnected film of liquid water Lambers et al. Water movement through the SPAC is driven by the passive movement of water generated by an energy gradient.

plant soil atmosphere relationship test

The energy gradient is created by a difference in water potential from high potential in the soil, to a gradually lower potential in the plant and the atmosphere. Factors affecting Soil-Water-Plant Relationship There are three major factors that affect the soil water plant relations 1.

Weather factors Soil Factors: Any soil factor which affects root density or depth can be expected to influence the response of the crop to irrigation. Mechanical impedance, slow water penetration and poor internal drainage, and deficient aeration frequently are responsible for sparse and shallow roots.

plant soil atmosphere relationship test

Soil structure, texture, and depth determine the total capacity of the soil for storing available water for plant growth.

The total available moisture capacity within the root zone and the moisture-release characteristics of the soil are both important factors determining the rate of change in soil moisture tension or stress.

Water potential & Soil-Plant-Atmosphere Continuum

Deep-rooted crops on deep soils usually show smaller responses to irrigations than shallower-rooted crops on the same soil. The rate at which water can move to the absorbing root surface may play an important part in water-soil-plant relations. Several different aspects of plant growth-such as elongation of plant organs, increase in fresh or dry weight, and vegetative versus reproductive development are easily recognized.

These processes are resultants of intricate combinations of many physiological processes which are probably not all equally affected by increasing soil moisture stress and an accompanying change in the internal balance of cells and tissues. Thus, it is not surprising that various measurable aspects of growth do not respond in the same manner to moisture stress.

Weather conditions particularly light and temperature may influence the growth characteristics of the shoot and root as to affect soil moisture-growth relations.

The length of the crop season before fall rains or frost may at least partially determine whether harvestable yields will be affected by imposing different soil moisture stress levels during the growing period. Meteorological factors like light, temperature, humidity and wind control the rate of water loss by transpiration from plant leaves and evaporation from the soil surface.