2009 Volume 3 Pages 10-16
Triticale and maize, with different structure of the root system and type of photosynthesis were examined to know changes in shoot physiology and root architecture in response to varying degree of soil compaction. In the root-box, effects of different levels of soil compaction (1.30, 1.47 and 1.58 Mg m-3) on a shoot and root dry matter, leaf number and area, number and length of seminal, seminal adventitious, nodal and lateral roots, leaf water potential (ψ), maximum quantum yield of PS II (Fv/Fm) and gas exchange were studied. Severe soil compaction treatments decreased leaf number, leaf area and dry matter of shoots and roots, while increasing shoot-to-root dry matter ratio. In addition, high level of soil compaction strongly affected the length of seminal and seminal adventitious roots, and the number and length of lateral roots developed on the seminal root. Along with the restriction of root growth, significant influences were observed in ψ, Fv/Fm and gas exchange. High soil compaction treatments resulted in decreased ψ, Fv/Fm, and photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate and stomatal conductance for both triticale and maize. Maize whose root growth was more heavily restricted by the soil compaction compared to triticale showed greater damages in physiological characteristics in leaves, while the impact on triticale was relatively small. The results indicated that damages in photosynthesis, water relation and shoot growth by soil compaction would be closely related to sensitivity of root systems architecture to high mechanical impedance of soil.