[1128] - Quantifying the effects of soil variability on crop growth using apparent soil electrical conductivity measurements

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Stadler, A., Rudolph, S., Kupisch, M., Langensiepen, M., van der Kruk, J., Ewert, F., 2015. Quantifying the effects of soil variability on crop growth using apparent soil electrical conductivity measurements. European Journal of Agronomy, 64, 8 - 20. DOI: 10.1016/j.eja.2014.12.004.
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Title(s):Main Title: Quantifying the effects of soil variability on crop growth using apparent soil electrical conductivity measurements
Description(s):Abstract: Spatial heterogeneity of crop growth within fields is rarely quantified but essential for estimating yield and optimizing crop management. Relationships in fields between crop growth and soil physical characteristics have been described before but an unrealistically high number of invasive measurements have to be made to obtain spatially continuous soil information. Alternatively, non-invasive methods are available for characterizing soil heterogeneity but relationships to growth characteristics have rarely been investigated. Here, we use an electromagnetic induction (EMI) sensor to measure the apparent electromagnetic conductivity of the soil (ECa), which can be used as a proxy for the soil’s water holding capacity. We evaluate relationships between ECa and soil and crop characteristics assuming that measured ECa patterns relate to observed growth patterns in the field. The test fields were located in Western Germany where different crops (winter wheat, winter barley and sugar beet) were grown between 2011 and 2013. Measurements include soil texture, soil moisture and crop growth characteristics taken frequently throughout the vegetation periods for plant height, leaf area index (LAI), dry matter of plants and selected organs (green leaves and storage organs). Spatial variability was observed for soil and crop characteristics that differed among fields, crops and years. Good correlations between ECa and soil texture and soil moisture confirmed that ECa measurements are suitable for characterizing spatial differences in soil conditions for our test sites. Averaged over all sampling dates of a vegetation period the differences in the spatial variability of crop characteristics were small between the years and crops considered. However, the within-field crop growth heterogeneity changed throughout the growing period depending on the crop development stage. Correlations were found between ECa and the crop characteristics that varied with time and were most pronounced in the main growth phase when LAI approached its maximum. Crop height correlated better with ECa than yield, LAI, and dry matter but differences were observed between fields, years and crops. Our results suggest that in dry years soil patterns have a stronger influence on the crop growth patterns than in wetter years when water limitation is less severe. We conclude that ECa measurements are suitable for detecting spatial patterns in soil characteristics that influence the spatial crop growth patterns for the region, years and crops considered. However, relationships between patterns in crop growth and soil characteristics within fields are more complex and require further investigation.
Identifier(s):DOI: 10.1016/j.eja.2014.12.004
Responsible Party
Creator(s):Author: Anja Stadler
Author: Sebastian Rudolph
Author: Moritz Kupisch
Author: Matthias Langensiepen
Author: Jan van der Kruk
Author: Frank Ewert
Publisher:Elsevier, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
TR32 Topic:Vegetation
Related Sub-project(s):B5, B6
Subject(s):CRC/TR32 Keywords: Spatial Heterogeneity, EMI, Soil-Plant Interaction, Sugar Beet, Winter Wheat, Winter Barley
File Details
File Name:StadlerEtAl_2015.pdf
Data Type:Text
File Size:2541 kB (2.481 MB)
Date(s):Date Accepted: 2014-12-02
Mime Type:application/pdf
Data Format:PDF
Download Permission:OnlyTR32
General Access and Use Conditions:According to the TR32DB data policy agreement.
Access Limitations:According to the TR32DB data policy agreement.
Licence:TR32DB Data policy agreement
Measurement Region:Ellebach
Measurement Location:Selhausen
Specific Informations - Publication
Article Type:Journal
Source:European Journal of Agronomy
Page Range:8 - 20
Metadata Details
Metadata Creator:Anja Stadler
Metadata Created:2015-01-09
Metadata Last Updated:2015-01-09
Funding Phase:2
Metadata Language:English
Metadata Version:V40
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