P uptake, root properties and biomass of six cover-crops

Sebastian Radlwimmer, Jürgen Kurt Friedel


Phosphorus (P) is an essential and limited nutrient. To avoid shortages in the coming decades, P recycling and efficiency of P use will have to be enhanced. Cover crops may help to transform less available P forms into bioavailable P forms. The aim of this investigation was the comparison of P uptake with root traits of six cover crops. Root and shoot biomass was analysed for P content. Root hair length and root length was measured on the basis of 6400 dpi root scans using ImageJ and WinRhizo. In addition, the root hair cylinder was calculated. P uptake was found to be strongly correlated with the root hair cylinder and the total crop biomass.

Keywords: cover crops, phosphorus uptake, root hair cylinder, root length, root hairs

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