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Effect Of Compaction On Plant Growth And Nutrient Uptake

920 words - 4 pages

IntroductionThe ability of soil to sustain a plant's growth is attributed to a number of different factors such as level of compaction, nutrient storage as well as air and water penetration. Each of these factors affect the overall health and growth rate of the plant with soil compaction limiting the advance of roots through the soil column, as well as decreasing the soil porosity.Soil compaction is one of the main reasons which limit a plants uptake of vital nutrients like potassium, phosphorous and zinc, which are usually absorbed through the roots or root hairs of the plant. If the soil is compacted and the roots are not able to travel far enough outward from the main body of the plant to acquire a healthy level of immobile nutrients the plants health is undermined.ObjectivesThis experiment seeks to display the effects of soil compaction on the nutrient uptake of plants, the interaction between physical and chemical fertility within soils and determine the impacts of each on the overall health and growth ability of the plant.MethodsOutlined in the experimental manual refer to pages 1.1-1.3.ResultsThe bulk density for B2P1A was reasonably higher then the other groups within this laboratory session. As was our overall moisture content with a value of 32.9%. This allowed for a final dry density of 1483.370. It was these factors that contributed to the samples within the B2P1 class to have the second highest overall dry density average and the highest bulk density average with a value of 1664.815. The sample group with the highest moisture content was B2P2 with 35.067%, this can be attributed to the sample B2P2A who's bulk density moisture content and dry density was the highest value over the whole sample sector. The values within some samples were skewed as not every sample had a value associated with it. This would have affected the overall average of these samples and ultimately the results would have been different had all values been placed within each sample tested. These results can be seen in Table 1 below.Table 1: Shows the lab 2 data sheet. The average of each sample is also included.The above graph illustrates the relationship that was found between the bulk density of the soil and the available phosphorous levels. This relationship is compared to the overall dried plant weight.The above graph illustrates how soil density has an influence on the overall weight of the plant specimen. It also demonstrates the amount of water the plant structure is able to store.Discussion/ConclusionThe experiment was unable to successfully demonstrate the effect soil compaction has on a plants growth and its ability to take up any nutrients that may be present within the soil column. This was only...

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