Measurement of soil and plant water status

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  • Irrig Sci (1988) 9:253 Irrigation

    : clence Springer-Verlag 1988


    Measurement of Soil and Plant Water Status

    Intelligent management of soil, water and plant resources requires an understanding of how soils and plants react to different stresses. Where water is limiting plant growth, as it does in many parts of the world, the measurement of soil and plant water status is of fundamental importance. Soil and plant water status is influenced by a complex of climatic and management conditions. Not only does soil and plant water status influence plant growth but other processes such as soil water flow, leaching, soil evaporation and transpiration are influenced. Thus salinity and pollution manage- ment are directly involved. The key to understanding and simulating these processes is knowledge of how to measure the appropriate soil and plant properties that influ- ence these processes.

    Thus, there is always a need for good methods for measuring soil and plant water status. Measurements are a challenge because of soil spatial and temporal variability and the fragile nature of the growing plant in a changing climatic environment. Instruments have been a concern since the beginning of scientific study. While a wide variety of instruments are available these are still unfilled needs because of instrument limitations.

    Recognition of the importance of these measurements lead to an "International Conference on the Measurement of Soil and Plant Water Status" held at Utah State University, Logan, Utah, on July 6-10, 1987. General topics of the conference were soil water content and potential, plant water content, plant water potential, and components and integration of soil and plant water measurements into water manage- ment systems. The proceedings of the conference contain 125 papers reporting on results from many parts of the world.

    At the request of the Editor-in-Chief, selected papers from this conference, after review, are included in this special issue. These papers are part of the overview papers of the conference. These papers should have wide educational appeal and serve to remind us of the importance of measurement of soil and plant water status in irriga- tion. The conference proceedings are available by writing to me at the address given below.

    R. J. Hanks Department of Soil Science and Biometeorology Utah State University Logan, Utah 84322-4840 USA


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