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Journal of Agronomy
Year: 2017  |  Volume: 16  |  Issue: 1  |  Page No.: 12 - 22

Influence of Cropping System on Root Distribution of Annual Crops

Aos, Endah Sulistyawati and Tati Suryati Syamsudin    

Abstract: Background: Root distribution of annual crops is critical for agroecosystem management on sloping dry land. The objectives of this study are to examine the root interactions at intercropping system using combination of annual crops of five species (Rice, maize, peanut, red bean and cassava) and to understand their effects on root distribution and soil physical conditions (Bulk density and soil porosity). Materials and Methods: Seven combinations of annual crops ("Rice+maize", "Peanut+maize", "Red bean+maize", "Peanut+cassava", "Red bean+cassava", "Rice+cassava" and "Red bean") were observed by measuring root biomass, root length, bulk density and soil porosity. Results: Combination of "Red bean+maize" resulted in larger biomass of thin root at 0-5 cm soil layer, longer Root Length Density (RLD) of fine root at 10-15 cm soil layer, longer RLD of fine and thin root at 15-20 cm soil layer, decrease in bulk density and increase in soil porosity. The result of PCA indicates that vertical root distribution is restricted if biomass of fine root is concentrated at 0-5 and 5-10 cm soil layers, if Root Area Ratio (RAR) of fine root is concentrated at 0-5 cm soil layer and if RAR of thin root is concentrated at 15-20 cm soil layer. Horizontal root distribution is restricted if biomass of fine root is concentrated at 10-15 cm soil layer and if biomass of thin root is concentrated at 15-20 cm soil layer. The parameters related to bulk density are RLD of thin root in soil layer 10-15 cm, RLD of fine root in soil layer 5-10 cm and RAR of thin root in soil layers 5-10 and 15-20 cm. Conclusion: The combination of "Red bean+maize" has higher ability of root penetration and it improves the physical conditions of the soil.

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