Effects of soil health management practices on plant root development
thesisposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Sushil Pandey
The plant root system is the connection between the aboveground biomass and the soil system, and it requires a healthy soil environment to support optimum root growth. A healthy and extensive root system allows the plant to explore a greater soil volume for water and nutrients, and thereby increase the likelihood of more productive crop.Intensive vegetable production systems with little or no organic materials incorporated into soil combined with heavy farm traffic and use of chemical fertilizers often lead to detrimental impacts on soil health characteristics, reducing capacity to support extensive root system development. Crops in these systems may also be more susceptible to high incidence and severity of soil-borne root diseases, which further reduces the root system and yield capacity of the crop. Pathogen damage to crop root systems is a major threat to crop production, and while current management systems can mitigate against this threat, alternative strategies based on building soil health through building soil organic carbon content and strong plant root systems is more sustainable. This research investigated the effects of different organic materials to soil microbial communities, plant root system development and crop performance in cropping soils.