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X-ray computed tomography imaging of solute movement through ridged and flat plant systems

X-ray computed tomography imaging of solute movement through ridged and flat plant systems
X-ray computed tomography imaging of solute movement through ridged and flat plant systems
The aim of this investigation was to experimentally compare the movement of a solute through soils with two field-representative surface geometries: ridge and furrow surfaces vs. flat surfaces. XCT imaging was undertaken to trace the movement of a soluble iodinated contrast medium, here used as an XCT-visible analogue for field-applied solutes, through soil columns with either a ridge and furrow or flat soil surface geometry. In addition to the soil surface geometry, the experimental treatments included the presence or absence of plants and surface water ponding. Experimental results were compared to existing numerical simulations adapted to represent the present experimental column systems. Similar infiltration patterns were observed in imaging results and the numerical simulations for most treatments. The experimental results suggest that plant roots present a significant localised effect to reduce the infiltration depth of solutes particularly in planted ridges where the infiltration depth of the contrast medium was minimal. There is variability within the results since the number of replicates was limited to three due to the exploratory nature of the study (testing eight different treatments) and the cost and availability of XCT facilities capable of imaging such physically large samples. Discrepancies between the imaged infiltration depth of the solute and the numerical simulations are attributed to variation in plant root distribution and also spatial soil moisture, as measured using resistive soil moisture sensing. The results of this investigation elucidate the nature of solute movement through soil surface geometries - indicating that plant root water uptake can reduce solute infiltration depth but surface ponding can negate this. These results suggest that soil surface shape, plant age and the timing of solute application with anticipated rainfall could be important considerations for reducing solute leaching and improving solute application efficiency
X-ray CT, contrast agent, ridge and furrow cultivation, soil
1351-0754
Scotson, Callum, Paul
47901c28-548c-41cc-9cbd-f0429a24c7cb
Duncan, Simon
fa8481c1-3788-41a0-a304-02515b93ef7d
Williams, Katherine
a13f30b4-2f53-4a14-ad38-c733923a6450
Ruiz, Siul Aljadi
d79b3b82-7c0d-47cc-9616-11d29e6a41bd
Roose, Tiina
3581ab5b-71e1-4897-8d88-59f13f3bccfe
Scotson, Callum, Paul
47901c28-548c-41cc-9cbd-f0429a24c7cb
Duncan, Simon
fa8481c1-3788-41a0-a304-02515b93ef7d
Williams, Katherine
a13f30b4-2f53-4a14-ad38-c733923a6450
Ruiz, Siul Aljadi
d79b3b82-7c0d-47cc-9616-11d29e6a41bd
Roose, Tiina
3581ab5b-71e1-4897-8d88-59f13f3bccfe

Scotson, Callum, Paul, Duncan, Simon, Williams, Katherine, Ruiz, Siul Aljadi and Roose, Tiina (2020) X-ray computed tomography imaging of solute movement through ridged and flat plant systems. European Journal of Soil Science. (doi:10.1111/ejss.12985).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The aim of this investigation was to experimentally compare the movement of a solute through soils with two field-representative surface geometries: ridge and furrow surfaces vs. flat surfaces. XCT imaging was undertaken to trace the movement of a soluble iodinated contrast medium, here used as an XCT-visible analogue for field-applied solutes, through soil columns with either a ridge and furrow or flat soil surface geometry. In addition to the soil surface geometry, the experimental treatments included the presence or absence of plants and surface water ponding. Experimental results were compared to existing numerical simulations adapted to represent the present experimental column systems. Similar infiltration patterns were observed in imaging results and the numerical simulations for most treatments. The experimental results suggest that plant roots present a significant localised effect to reduce the infiltration depth of solutes particularly in planted ridges where the infiltration depth of the contrast medium was minimal. There is variability within the results since the number of replicates was limited to three due to the exploratory nature of the study (testing eight different treatments) and the cost and availability of XCT facilities capable of imaging such physically large samples. Discrepancies between the imaged infiltration depth of the solute and the numerical simulations are attributed to variation in plant root distribution and also spatial soil moisture, as measured using resistive soil moisture sensing. The results of this investigation elucidate the nature of solute movement through soil surface geometries - indicating that plant root water uptake can reduce solute infiltration depth but surface ponding can negate this. These results suggest that soil surface shape, plant age and the timing of solute application with anticipated rainfall could be important considerations for reducing solute leaching and improving solute application efficiency

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 1 May 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 6 May 2020
Keywords: X-ray CT, contrast agent, ridge and furrow cultivation, soil

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 441038
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/441038
ISSN: 1351-0754
PURE UUID: 8250f692-6a14-4d8c-b9ab-be3631798c73
ORCID for Katherine Williams: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6827-9261
ORCID for Tiina Roose: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8710-1063

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 May 2020 16:57
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:38

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