Water logging may inhibit plant growth primarily by nutrient deficiency rather than nutrient toxicity

https://doi.org/10.17221/3630-PSECitation:Steffens D., Hütsch B.W., Eschholz T., Lošák T., Schubert S. (2005): Water logging may inhibit plant growth primarily by nutrient deficiency rather than nutrient toxicity. Plant Soil Environ., 51: 545-552.
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The aim of our experiments was to investigate whether nutrient deficiency or toxicity is the cause for growth inhibition of wheat and barley in waterlogged soils. Experiments using two soils (top and subsoil) differing largely in various characteristics revealed a growth inhibition of wheat and barley in the case of subsoil due to water logging, without Fe or Mn toxicity. Water culture experiments with anaerobic (N2) and aerobic aeration confirmed that oxygen deficiency did not induce nutrient toxicity (Fe, Mn) but caused sub-optimum nutrient supply (N, P, K, Mn, Cu, Zn) of wheat and barley plants. In a split-root water culture experiment with barley, cultivating half of the root system in varying combinations of aerobic/anaerobic and with/without K supply, it was shown that sufficient K uptake occurred only when K and oxygen were applied in the same root compartment. We suggest that due to O2 deficiency in the root medium, synthesis of ATP may be inhibited leading thus to a decrease in nutrient uptake. Nutrient deficiency rather than toxicity appears to be the major cause for the poor plant growth in waterlogged soils.
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