Root distribution of yam (Dioscorea Alata) determined by strontium tracer

O'Sullivan, Jane N. (2008) Root distribution of yam (Dioscorea Alata) determined by strontium tracer. Experimental Agriculture, 44 2: 223-233. doi:10.1017/S0014479708006169

Author O'Sullivan, Jane N.
Title Root distribution of yam (Dioscorea Alata) determined by strontium tracer
Formatted title
Root Distribution of Yam (Dioscorea Alata) Determined by Stontium Tracer
Journal name Experimental Agriculture   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0014-4797
Publication date 2008-04-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S0014479708006169
Open Access Status
Volume 44
Issue 2
Start page 223
End page 233
Total pages 11
Editor D. Harris
Place of publication New York , U.S.A.
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Language eng
Subject C1
820215 Vegetables
070601 Horticultural Crop Growth and Development
Abstract Strontium was used as a tracer to detect root activity of yam (Dioscorea alata) at distances from 0.5 to 5.5 m from the plant's crown, and at depths of 7, 15, 25 and 40 cm, in field plantings separated by plastic root barriers. Tracer bands were installed at planting, and leaves were sampled at intervals throughout the growing season. Background Sr concentrations in leaves were found to be closely related to leaf Ca concentrations, allowing the expected background Sr to be calculated from the Ca concentration in each sample. The ratio of observed to expected Sr did not alter significantly with time of sampling or leaf age for control plants providing a robust parameter for comparison across harvests. Plants at all horizontal distances from the Sr placement up to 5.5 m showed significant elevation of leaf Sr by 13 weeks after planting (WAP). The depth placement at 15 cm showed earliest Sr elevation, followed by the 7 cm placement. However, both 25 cm and 40 cm placements resulted in significant leaf Sr elevation by 13 WAP, and their final Sr concentrations at 27 WAP did not differ significantly from those of shallower placements. Three fertilizer placement options were compared with respect to Sr uptake by the treated plants and by those in adjacent rows. Placement in a ring around the crown of the seed sett resulted in high leaf Sr concentration at 5 WAP, declining considerably at subsequent samplings. Placement underneath the seed sett produced a similar pattern but at lower concentrations. Banding midway between the plant rows, 0.5 m from plants, yielded a small increase at 5 WAP increasing to 13 WAP, and ultimately attaining similar concentrations to the other two placements. Plants in adjacent rows significantly accessed all three placements by 13 WAP. The results indicate greater reach of yam roots, both horizontally and vertically, than has been previously reported, and raise concerns about the adequacy of treatment separation in previously published fertilizer experiments with yams.
Keyword Rotundata
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 16 Apr 2009, 05:03:30 EST by Emma Cushworth on behalf of School of Land, Crop and Food Sciences