Effect of ion exchange substrate on grass root development and cohesion of sandy soil

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The effect of small additions of ion exchange substrate (nutrient carrier) on root development and accompanying ground cohesion (characterized by its penetration resistance) was studied. During two pot experiments Dactylis glomerata L. was grown on sand and its mixture with 1 and 2% (v/v) of ion exchange substrate, respectively. The number and total length of roots were measured during the first test. Penetration resistance was measured with a pentrologger, following the second experiment. After six weeks of growth, number and length of roots in sand mixture with 1 and 2% substrate was greater than in sand-only medium by 211-287 and 273-323%, respectively. At the same time, penetration resistance in series with substrate additions was significantly higher than in control medium at depth of 2.5-7(8) cm, whereas after 12 week of growth, penetration resistance in series with 1 and 2% substrate additions was significantly greater than in control sand at the whole analyzed depth. The highest resistance values in media with substrate additions 2-2.5 times greater than those in sand alone – were observed at depth of 3.5-4.0 cm. Higher resistance of sand-substrate mixtures results from more intensive development of root systems, forming a mesh which binds sand particles. Such media would be less susceptible to erosion.

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International Agrophysics

The Journal of Institute of Agrophysics of Polish Academy of Sciences

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