Root growth and survivorship in cow manure and compost amended soils
E. Baldi, M. Tosellihttps://doi.org/10.17221/857/2012-PSECitation:Baldi E., Toselli M. (2013): Root growth and survivorship in cow manure and compost amended soils. Plant Soil Environ., 59: 221-226.
The effect of the application of compost and cow manure on nectarine (Prunus persica L.) root growth and survivorship was investigated in a commercial orchard during the growing seasons 2003, 2004 and 2005. Our main objective was to determine whether compost affects root dynamics differently than cow manure. The experiment was a complete randomized block design with four replicates of two treatments: cow manure and compost applied at planting in 2001 at 10 t dry weight (DW)/ha and from 2004 at the rate of 5 t DW/ha. The compost fertilization represented a yearly rate of 120 kg N/ha, while cow manure was approximately 80 kg N/ha/year. Both root growth and survival were evaluated at 20-day intervals during the growing season by the minirhizotron technique. Cow manure increased the production of new roots compared with compost (P ≤ 0.001). Roots were mainly produced at a depth of 21–40 cm for compost and 61–80 cm for cow manure. The root lifespan was longer in compost than in cow manure treated trees (P ≤ 0.05) and was strongly affected by depth. No differences were observed in root length and diameter.