Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2012, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (7): 655-661.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2012.00655

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Water uptake model analysis of crop roots under non-uniform water potential

CHEN Shao-Qing*(), ZHU Da-Yi, OU Zhong-Hui**()   

  1. School of Mathematics and Computer Science, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350108, China
  • Published:2012-07-10
  • Contact: OU Zhong-Hui


Aims Our objective is to consider a water uptake model of crop roots under non-uniform water potential. This is based on principles of water conservation in soil-plant system and water potential’s driving force on water transport.

Methods We introduced two expressions of non-uniform soil water potential, linear and exponential functions, and compared the analytical solutions under non-uniform and uniform water potentials. This model is used to analyze the effect of ratio of radial resistance and axial resistance on plant water uptake and to determine the optimal root length within a reasonable range of this ratio.

Important findings In certain circumstances, the water uptake model for plant roots with non-uniform water potential can be simplified to a uniform water potential model, and the optimal root length is close to the actual value after the Poseuille formula is changed to fit plant vessels.

Key words: axial resistance, crop root water uptake model, non-uniform and uniform soil water potential, radial resistance