Impact of soil compaction on root development and yield of meadow-grass
 
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Institute of Machinery Exploitation, Ergonomics and Production Processes, University of Agriculture, Balicka 116B, 31-149 Cracow, Poland
 
Int. Agrophys. 2013, 27(1): 7–13
 
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ABSTRACT
The field experiment was carried out on a smoothstalked meadow-grass to analyse the effect of tractor traffic on herbage production and root morphology. The multiple passes of tractor changed physical properties of soil. Increase in bulk density and penetration resistance of soil under smooth-stalked meadowgrass was recorded up to the depth of 30 cm. The tractor traffic resulted in changes in smooth-stalked meadow-grass yields. During the second and the third harvest it was found that wheel traffic decreased plant yields. For the first harvest the opposite effect in herbage production was noticed. The tractor traffic significantly changed the root morphometric properties in the upper, 0-5 cm, soil layer. Intensive tractor traffic (four and six passes) significantly increased the root length in diameter range of 0.1-0.5 mm. There were no differences in both mean root diameter and specific root length what indicated that traffic treatment applied did not change the root diameter. The results indicate that smooth-stalked meadow-grass could be recommended for compacted soils when intensive traffic is present.
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