Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 372396
Title Uptake of water from soils by plant roots
Author(s) Raats, P.A.C.
Source Transport in Porous Media 68 (2007)1. - ISSN 0169-3913 - p. 5 - 28.
Department(s) Land Degradation and Development
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2007
Keyword(s) zero-sink uptake - aggregated soil - mass-flow - diffusion - systems - models - distributions - nutrients - constant - equation
Abstract Uptake of water by plant roots can be considered at two different Darcian scales, referred to as the mesoscopic and macroscopic scales. At the mesoscopic scale, uptake of water is represented by a flux at the soil¿root interface, while at the macroscopic scale it is represented by a sink term in the volumetric mass balance. At the mesoscopic scale, uptake of water by individual plant roots can be described by a diffusion equation, describing the flow of water from soil to plant root, and appropriate initial and boundary conditions. The model involves at least two characteristic lengths describing the root¿soil geometry and two characteristic times, one describing the capillary flow of water from soil to plant roots and another the ratio of supply of water in the soil and uptake by plant roots. Generally, at a certain critical time, uptake will switch from demand-driven to supply-dependent. In this paper, the solutions of some of the resulting mesoscopic linear and nonlinear problems are reviewed. The resulting expressions for the evolution of the average water content can be used as a basis for upscaling from the mesoscopic to the macroscopic scale. It will be seen that demand-driven and supply-dependent uptake also emerge at the macroscopic scale. Information about root systems needed to operationalize macroscopic models will be reviewed briefly.
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