Plant water uptake effects on salt distribution at the root-soil interface

Adi Perelman, Helena Jorda Guerra, Jan Vanderborght, Andreas Pohlmeier, Shimon Rachmilevitch, Naftali Lazarovitch

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


In recent years, increased salinization of soils, along with the depletion of available water, has become a major threat for agriculture. The rhizosphere plays an important role in connecting processes at the soil-plant- atmosphere interface. A better understanding of these connections and their mutual influences can help in improving crop yield. New technologies provide better tools with which to study root structure and function in non-destructive ways. These techniques also provide a finer resolution regarding processes occurring where the roots meet the soil, e.g., water uptake and salt accumulation. The initial results from rhizoslides (capillary paper growth system) show the salt concentration gradient is decreasing with distance from the root, compared with the bulk that remained more stable. Also, differences in Na+ accumulation around roots were noticed under different transpiration rates. In addition, images of roots were taken on a daily base and will be used to incorporate root growth rate and architecture into a numerical model. At the microscopic scale, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will be implemented to observe root structures, water content and sodium concentration distributions around single roots. First image of tomato roots was taken as preparation for monitoring Na+ accumulation around the roots. Ongoing experiment is following changes in electrical conductivity in the root zone under saline irrigation in electrical resistivity boxes, which serves as a meso-scale measurement tool. Data will be used to calibrate a model that is expected to predict root water uptake in saline soils for different climatic conditions and different soil water availability. Sensitivity analyses from a simulation study with this detailed model for different soil salinity, irrigation regimes and weather scenarios will be presented.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 12 Apr 2016


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