shoot base temperature
shoot demand per unit of roots
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Abstract The effects of low root zone temperatures (RZT) on nutrient demand for growth and the capacity for nutrient acquisition were compared in maize and wheat growing in nutrient solution. To differentiate between direct temperature effects on nutrient uptake and indirect effects via an altered ratio of shoot to root growth, the plants were grown with their shoot base including apical shoot meristem either within the root zone (low SB), i.e. at RZT (12°, 16°, or 20°C) or, above the root zone (high SB), i.e. at uniformly high air temperature (20°/16° day/night). At low SB, suboptimal RZT reduced shoot growth more than root growth in wheat, whereas the opposite was true in maize. However, in both species the shoot growth rate per unit weight of roots, which was taken as parameter for the shoot demand for mineral nutrients per unit of roots, decreased at low RZT. Accordingly, the concentrations of potassium (K) and phosphorus (P) remained constant or even increased at low RZT despite reduced uptake rates. At high SB, shoot growth at low RZT in both species was higher than at low SB, whereas root growth was not increased. At high SB, the shoot demand per unit of roots was similar for all RZT in wheat, but increased with decreasing RZT in maize. Uptake rates of K at high SB and low RZT adapted to shoot demand within four days, and were even higher in maize than in wheat. Uptake rates of P adapted more slowly to shoot demand in both species, resulting in reduced concentrations of P in the shoot, particularly in maize. In conclusion, the two species did not markedly differ in their physiological capacity for uptake of K and P at low RZT. However, maize had a lower ability than wheat to adapt morphologically to suboptimal RZT by increasing biomass allocation towards the roots. This may cause a greater susceptibility of maize to nutrient deficiency, particularly if the temperatures around the shoot base are high and uptake is limited by nutrient transport processes in the soil towards the roots.
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