Localized nutrient supply can facilitate root proliferation and increase nitrogen-use efficiency in compacted soil

Soil compaction constrains root growth and crop yield. Previous studies have shown that localized nutrient supply can significantly improve maize plant growth in field conditions at the early growth stage. However, this promoting effect has not been tested in the compacted soil. We describe 2-year field experimentation on a fluvo-aquic soil in the North China Plain to investigate the effect of localized vs. broadcast ammonium and phosphorus supply on maize under three soil compaction treatments (NC: non-compacted, C: compacted and SC: severely compacted) during 2012 and 2013. Results showed that compared with broadcast ammonium and phosphorus (BNP), localized ammonium and phosphorus supply (LNP) resulted in significantly higher PFPN in the NC (by 31–37%), C (by 43–44%) and SC (by 45%) treatments at harvest. When soil was compacted (C and SC), the enhancement of nitrogen (N) utilization in the LNP treatment was attributed to the increased root growth, including greater specific root length (a greater proportion of fine roots), lower root tissue density and deeper rooting at the seedling stage, especially in the compacted treatment (C). The enhanced root penetration capacity contributed to the increased N and water uptake from the deep soil layers. Our study highlighted the importance of nutrient management for mitigating negative impacts of soil compaction on crops, and will underpin new soil compaction management practices by considering optimal fertilization to strengthen the root-soil interactions.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
  • Name: Wu, Xiaobin, Type: Corresponding Author,
  • Name: Li, Hongbo, Type: Author,
  • Name: Rengel, Zed, Type: Author,
  • Name: Whalley, William R., Type: Author,
  • Name: Li, Haigang, Type: Author,
  • Name: Zhang, Fusuo, Type: Author,
  • Name: Shen, Jianbo, Type: Author,
  • Name: Jin, Kemo, Type: Author,
Maintainer Email
Article Host Type publisher
Article Is Open Access true
Article License Type
Article Version Type publishedVersion
Citation Report https://scite.ai/reports/10.1016/j.still.2021.105198
DFW Organisation RRes
DFW Work Package 1
DOI 10.1016/j.still.2021.105198
Date Last Updated 2022-05-28T02:29:53.326171
Evidence open (via free article)
Funder Code(s)
Journal Is Open Access false
Open Access Status bronze
PDF URL https://reader.elsevier.com/reader/sd/pii/S0167198721002713
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2021.105198