Differences in root morphological features and shoot P accumulation at different soil P levels

Kati Knuutila, Petra Junklewitz, Juha Liespuu, Pirjo Mäkelä, Anthony Owusu-Sekyere, Elina Tasanko, Laura Alakukku, Mervi Seppänen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


The morphology and architecture of roots affect plant nutrient uptake. The objective of this study was to investigate how soil initial phosphorus (P) fertility level (Fair P 6.2 mg l-1 soil, Good P 17.5 mg l-1 soil) and annual P application (20 kg ha-1) affected root morphology, P content of silage grass and concomitantly its nutritive value. Soil P levels were created in a 40-year fertilisation experiment (1973-2013). In a field trial (Kotkaniemi experimental farm) shoot and root samples were taken at the beginning of the growing season of 2018, at the time of the 1st and 3rd harvests and twice after 1st and 3rd harvests. Roots were washed, photographed and root area, mean root length, and diameter were analysed with ImageJ program. Root and shoot nutrient contents were analysed with ICP-OES. P application increased root area during the 1st harvest but it decreased at 3rd harvest. Soil fertility P and P fertilisation had a positive effect on root dry weight. Root area was negatively correlated with increasing shoot P content, which indicates that increase in root area compensated P uptake when less P was available. However, increased P foraging capacity was insufficient to elevate grass P content to an adequate level.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMeeting the future demands for grassland production : Proceedings of the 28th General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation.
EditorsPerttu Virkajärvi, Kaija Hakala, Mikko Hakojärvi, Janne Helin, Iryna Herzon, Venla Jokela, Sari Peltonen, Marketta Rinne, Mervi Seppänen, Jaana Uusi-Kämppä
Number of pages3
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)978-952-326-944-6
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-326-945-3
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventGeneral Meeting of the European Grassland Federation - , Finland
Duration: 19 Oct 202022 Oct 2020
Conference number: 28

Publication series

NameGrassland Science in Europe

Fields of Science

  • 415 Other agricultural sciences
  • EGF2020 General Meeting

    Kati Knuutila (Attendee)

    19 Oct 202022 Oct 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

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