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Root architecture of barley in duplex soils under irrigation

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 10:47 authored by Matuszek, MR, Tina AcunaTina Acuna, David ParsonsDavid Parsons, Marcus HardieMarcus Hardie
Aims and Background Despite texture contrast soils occupying a majority of Southern Australian agricultural regions, little is known about root growth under irrigation. This project assesses the interactions between soil moisture, soil strength and root architecture and its impact on barley yield and water-use efficiency. Methods Barley was grown under waterlogged, optimally irrigated and rainfed treatments on a duplex soil in Southern Tasmania. Following harvest for yield, 1m2 pits were excavated and root number, soil moisture and soil strength were measured on horizontal soil faces to a depth of 110 cm and analysed spatially. Results Soil excavation indicated that root depth and distribution was influenced by strategic irrigation. Spatial data demonstrated that increased soil moisture reduced penetration resistance of the clay subsoil, which allowed for greater root exploration throughout the soil profile. Data also suggests that roots density is greater within cracks and the surrounding soil matrix, which affects the efficiency of water uptake. Conclusion Strategic irrigation of barley was demonstrated to have a positive influence on yield, rooting depth and distribution in vertic, duplex soils. Improved understanding of root-soil interactions can be used more effective irrigation to increase yields and water-use efficiency of grain crops in these hydraulically complex soils.


Publication title

Proceedings of the Rhizosphere 3 Conference


Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


Rhizosphere 3

Place of publication

Perth, Western Australia

Event title

Rhizosphere 3

Event Venue

Perth, Western Australia

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

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