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SOIL WATER EXTRACTION PATTERN OF COCONUT (Cocos nucifera L.) IN RELATION TO SOIL COMPACTION

Authors:

L. P. VIDHANA ARACHCHI ,

COCOS, LK
About L. P.
Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila,
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P. A. J. JAPA,

About P. A. J.
Dept. of Botany, University of Sri
Jayawardenapura.
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R. B. MAPA,

About R. B.
Dept. of Soil Science, University of Peradeniya.
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H. SOMAPALA

About H.
Dept. of Agriculture.
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Abstract

Effect of soil compaction on the growth and activity of coconut (Cocos
nucifera L.) roots in two soil series, namely, Andigama series (gravelly soil) and
Madampe series (sandy loam soil) was studied. The effective root zone of
coconut in relation to water absorption process under natural soil compaction
were also investigated. Soil compaction and soil moisture absorption ability was
determined using cone penetrometer and neutron scattering methods,
respectively. Coconut root distribution in Andigama and Madampe series
showed that 75%-80% of roots of adult coconut palms were localised in a depth
ranging from 20 cm to 100 cm. About 5% of the roots were located beyond the
100 cm depth and 15%-20% was confined to the top layer (0-20 cm) of soil.
Root growth of coconut in the two series did not show any significant
differences. However, the root activity in the Madampe series, with respect to
moisture absorption was higher than that of the Andigama series due to low
compaction of the former. Results also showed that soil compaction higher than
250 N/cm2 restricted the activity of coconut roots in the Andigama series for
moisture absorption up to a distance of 2 m away horizontally from the base of
the tree and the highest moisture extraction was observed at 1 m distance. High
moisture extraction by coconut roots was confined to a depth ranging of 20 to
120 cm and of 20 to 250 cm in soils of Aruligama and Madampe series,
respectively, due to differences in soil compaction levels. It was concluded that
soil compaction limits the water absorption ability of coconut roots vertically
from the base of the tree, rather than coconut root growth and penetration.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cocos.v13i0.2178
How to Cite: VIDHANA ARACHCHI, L.P. et al., (2010). SOIL WATER EXTRACTION PATTERN OF COCONUT (Cocos nucifera L.) IN RELATION TO SOIL COMPACTION. COCOS. 13, pp.66–80. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cocos.v13i0.2178
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Published on 11 Aug 2010.
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