ISSN 0188-6266

doi: 10.15174/au.2014.676

Soil irrigation frequencies, compaction, air porosity and
shear stress effects on soybean root development
Frecuencias de riego, compactación, porosidad aerífera y tensión
cortante del suelo relacionadas con el desarrollo radical de soya

G. A. Hossne*, J. Méndez*, M. Trujillo*, F. Parra*
ABSTRACT
Effect of soil compaction on the root development of soybean plants (Glycine max L. Mer-
rill cv. San Baiba), subjected to different treatments of irrigation frequencies, air porosity
and shear stress of a sandy loam soil were performed. Soybeans are important agricultural
crop of the area, where the soil is incompressible and easy deformable. The objectives were
to determine: (a) Consequences of water content, compaction and air porosity over the root
length, root volume, and root fresh mass; and (b) Results of air content, shear stress and
normal strain on root growth. The methods used were the Proctor test, triaxial, water meters,
watering frequency and 30 cm × 30 cm × 1.5 cm plastic cylinders. The randomized block was
used in simple factorial arrangement with four levels of compaction per layer (0, 12, 24, 36)
and four soil water content through four irrigation frequencies (daily, inter-day, every two
days and each three days). The findings were: (a) Root length between 24 cm and 79.5 cm;
(b) Root volume from 2 cm3 to 40 cm3; (c) Root fresh mass between 7.58 g and 34.04 g, with a
higher values tendency for daily and inter-day irrigation frequencies. The daily and inter day
irrigation frequencies average results were above the grand mean (52.31 cm) of root length for
the four levels of compaction. It was concluded that the soybeans root system was positively
influenced by water content, more than compaction and the other variables under study.

RESUMEN
Se estudió el efecto de la compactación del suelo en el desarrollo de la raíz de plantas de soya
(Glycine max L. Merrill cv. San Baiba) sometidas a diferentes tratamientos de frecuencias de
riego, porosidad aerífera y tensión cortante de un suelo franco arenoso de sabana. La soya
es de importancia agrícola en la zona, donde el suelo es incompresible y de fácil defor-
mación. Los objetivos fueron determinar (a) el efecto del contenido de humedad y porosidad
aerífera sobre la longitud, el volumen radical y la masa fresca radical, y (b) la relación del
contenido aerífero, tensión cortante y tensión normal con el crecimiento radical. Se utilizó
el método Proctor, triaxial, medidores de humedad, frecuencia de riego y cilindros plásticos
de 30 cm × 30 cm × 1.5 cm. Se emplearon bloques al azar en arreglo factorial simple con
cuatro niveles de compactación por capa (0, 12, 24, 36) y cuatro de humedad a través de cua-
Recibido: 8 de septiembre de 2014
Aceptado: 7 de noviembre de 2014 tro frecuencias de riego (todos los días, interdiario, cada dos días y cada tres días). Entre los
resultados: (a) la longitud radical entre 24 cm y 79.5 cm; (b) el volumen radical entre 2 cm3 y
40 cm3; (c) la masa fresca radical entre 7.58 g y 34.04 g, con tendencia de los valores mayores
Keywords: para los tratamientos con frecuencias de riego diaria e interdiaria que produjeron resultados
Savanna soil; compaction; irrigation; mor- promedios por encima de la gran media (52.31 cm) de la longitud radical para los efectos de
phological characters.
los cuatro niveles de compactación. Se concluyó que el sistema radical fue más positivamente
Palabras clave: influenciado por la humedad que por los efectos de las otras variables estudiadas.
Suelos de sabana; compactación; riego;
caracteres morfológicos.

INTRODUCTION
Cómo citar:
Hossne, G. A., Méndez, J., Trujillo, M. & Parra, Compaction approaches soil particles, dry or wet, reducing the air space and
F. (2015). Soil irrigation frequencies, compaction,
the soil ability to adequately preserve enough amounts of air. The soil pore
air porosity and shear stress effects on soybean
root development. Acta Universitaria, 25(1), 22-30. space needed to ensure the gas exchange required by a healthy root system
doi: 10.15174/au.2014.676 should be between 10% and 20% of air. According to Kozlowski (1985) and
Costello, MacDonald & Jacobs (1991), the roots work best with a level above

* Departamento de Ingeniería Agrícola, Núcleo de Monagas, Universidad de Oriente. Apartado postal núm. 414, Maturín, Estado Monagas, Venezuela. Correos electrónicos: americohossne-
garcia@gmail.com; americohossne@cantv.net

22 Vol. 25 No. 1 Enero-Febrero 2015 Soil irrigation frequencies, compaction, air porosity and shear stress effects on soybean root development |
G. A. Hossne, J. Méndez, M. Trujillo, F. Parra | pp. 22-30

This severely compacted layer restricts root mass of soybean. A. Soil irrigation frequencies.676 soil. dry- ness was the main restriction hindering root growth.78% soil moisture content. Severely compacted layer below the depth of moisture content and air porosity levels of a sandy tillage is a special problem of soil compaction in many loam soil of savanna on the length. with sandy loam andisols Clay (Kaolinite) 12. Very coarse sand 1 1. (2003). these soils exerted beans which is agriculturally important for the area. MATERIALS AND METHODS tion. 25 No. J. causing increased proached the soil liquid limit.5 11. Scott & Hazard (1996). And according to Schumacher not compacted is not completely understood.9055 Powers. levels below 4%-5% highly inhibit root soil water content and that soil shear stress was an in- growth. was used in the study. verse function of soil moisture. Hossne et al. Comparison of the Merrill cv. Singer & Horwath (2002) specified that the Coarse sand 0. Trujillo. SL: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) classification: SaLo (san- vels of compaction. Fine sand 0. root development may be damaged the better growth is likely owing to better soil physical by lack of oxygen in compacted soils. F. is produced by soil moisture A greenhouse cultivation of Soybeans (Glycine max L. volume and fresh farmlands. Méndez. 1 Enero-Febrero 2015 23 . such as in soy. due that soil resistance diminished with rain or irriga. and Cochran & Brock (1985) Components 0 cm .041 9. with the characteristics shown in ficult because of a lack of information on moisture and table 1. Rahman. air porosity and shear stress effects on soybean root development | G. Miller. Parra | pp. for soil shear stress with a critical value of 2343.539 sandy textured soil owing to increased water holding capacity. Much of & Smucker (1984). close to zero as it ap- reducing size and pore continuity. Hossne. it has not always produced negative growth effects. excessive strength of plow pans when were dry.284 nia on fine textured soils attributable to increased soil Very fine sand 0.99 effect of compaction varied with the texture and soil Medium sand 0. cre. to evaluate the cause of different levels of com- Organic matter 1. 22-30 Vol. Table 1. development status. Compaction. San Baiba) in sandy loam soil of savanna of measures of compaction in the literature is quite dif. at which plant roots do not elongate. The soil resistance critical value. but soil compaction increased growth on a Total sand 71. Root dry weight. by definition. and stages of plant development. filled pores of the soil. root shoot ratio and shoot dry weight decreased significantly with the Textural class SL increased energy levels and decreased with increased le. for 20.785 a greenhouse experiment.098 24.053 24. The soil structure is changed by compaction. showed that soil bulk densities varied inversely with Source: Authors own elaboration. that the action of root growth increased its axial stress usually measured by evaluation of the dry density. According to Ponder (2004). Smucker & Erickson (1987) informed resistance. Taylor soybean root growth and air porosity. Hossne (2004) reported soil density.300 cm mm reported existing ample evidence supporting the re- % duction in growth caused by soil compaction. and (b) the relationship among root growth and water available for plant roots. It a shear strength is lower 500 kPa within the range of has been considered that compaction increases the soil field capacity. It is common to provide the soil bulk density measurements unreferenced with Size Horizons the values of moisture content of the soil. the Monagas state. compaction. It is conceived that the soil compaction. Hara & Hoque (2005) conducted Silt 15. is the reduction of air. M. The objectives changes that caused better soil moisture conditions for of this study were to evaluate: (a) The influence of growth.041 paction on soybean. Hossne (2008) dy loam).092 moisture. shear strength & Burnett (1964) and Taylor (1974) reported on the and normal stress of the studied soil. the mechanism that plants subject to soil compaction are more sus- that compacted soil supported better growth more than ceptible to water stress. ISSN 0188-6266 10% oxygen.303 strength. Soil physical characteristics and organic matter content of the cultivated soil.2 kPa ates root growth inhibition of plants. Gomez. These authors also reported that compaction reduced the growth of young ponderosa pine in Califor.

24. tion frequencies (Fr) were used. Sixty-four 0. to forge a third degree polynomial four soil water content through irrigation frequencies: with six terms shown in equation 2. 30 cm height and between variables in a high level of significance.0002 showed a statistically significant relationship polymers cylinders 30 cm diameter. J. the best subset moisture content and compaction level are of the soil or regression method. Figure 2. gravel. Trujillo. The ANOVA p value of σ* tan (φ). Root length response surface versus irrigation period and air porosity.05 in the ANOVA. 24. standard error of 2. particle By applying multiple regression.7 + 1834.622•Ea2 + 17.19 kg/layer) of gineering test to find out the maximum density that soil per cylinder were utilized. For determination of soil strength. inter-day (Fr2). dry bulk density (ρS).42. The Proctor test was invented in 1933 by Ralph variable root length (L) and the independent variables: R. compaction. the terms Fr. Source: Authors own elaboration.83 and ab- were studied.33. or sand. In addition to soils. with R2 of 92. Ea•Fr. Ir- substances.74 g/cylinder of 25 kg/ha-100 kg/ha-120 kg/ha of stance. In this scenario. and Ea3•Fr3 were eliminated with p values greater than tion levels (Proctor strokes) per layer: (0.21. The mental design (4•4) with simple factorial with sixteen aim of the soil test is usually to determine the optimum (16) treatments (To) with four replications for a total moisture content for the soil. The Proctor test is a geotechnical en. every two days and every three days) adjusted R2 of 87. 36) and 0. compacting the soil or aggregate at different moisture Statistically regression analysis of variance (ANOVA). the triaxial apparatus was utilized. or dry unit weight of the soil frequency was applied. Hossne. gravimetric water content (w) and the water nomial with thirteen terms was optimized. The interaction of four compac. One liter of water per irrigation measuring the density. 25 No. 12 drops/ increasing its density by forcing air out of the soil. L = . Fertilizer application may be practically achieved for a soil or similar sub. RESULTS metric water content (θ). The air porosity (Ea) was determined using Equa- tion 1. The Proctor soil compaction test is done by NPK was performed. Proctor hammer.011•Ea2•Fr3 + 0. cut longitudinally into two ure 2 shows the response surface plot for the model halves at the center and fastened shown in figure 1. a third degree poly- density (ρP).163•Fr2 ρS w * ρS E a = n − θ = (1 − )− (1) + 0. Experiment view of the sixty-four treatments. Proctor bump support and moisture meters used in the study. Proctor (1933). of 2. A. may be rigation were established: every day (Fr1). Parra | pp. Cylinders. suring substances that contain larger particles.11•Ea . τ = C + solute minimum error 1. 24 Vol. By layer (C2). Fig- 1. M.00042•Ea2•Fr (2) ρP ρW Figure 1.57 kg (8. such as aggregate. the volu. compacting the soil means and compaction levels: 0 drops/layer (C1). 22-30 . Source: Authors own elaboration. Moisture soil meters and frequencies of ir. (daily. inter-day. other of sixty-four (64) experimental units was applied. A randomized blocks experi- being tested at different moisture content points. and seventy-five (75) days. such as gravel. of which density (ρW). F. contents. and with multiple regressions it aggregate for a specific use in a particular engineering was introduced a cubic polynomial with the dependent project. represented by air porosity (Ea) and irriga- Proctor tests also allow the use of a larger mold for mea. air porosity and shear stress effects on soybean root development | G. Méndez. 24 drops/layer (C3) and 36 drops/layer (C4).56.33•Ea3 -0. of equation 2. ISSN 0188-6266 The Proctor method was used to determine the dry The harvest took place between seventy-two (72) bulk density.262z69. Ea2•Fr2. Both the original and the modified compaction. Ea3•Fr2 rigation were employed. as a function of the total porosity (n).5 cm thick were employed. every two days (Fr3) and every three days (Fr4) measured. an engineer may determine what the optimum the least significant difference (LSD). 12. Ea2•Fr. 1 Enero-Febrero 2015 Soil irrigation frequencies. Ea3•Fr.

and Yamauchi (1993) the inhibition of plant growth is air porosity and moisture versus treatments. 1 Enero-Febrero 2015 25 . 25 No. air porosity (Ea) and soil humidity (w). F. Balingar & Clark (2006). Masle (2002) 6 graphically displays the results of the rooting volume. Grzesiak & air porosity and moisture versus the treatments. shear Figure 7 presents the root volume obtained with stress and air porosity versus treatments and soil the treatments C4Fr4 (36 drops/layer with watering moisture recorded during the process of soybean root every three days) and C4Fr2 (36 drops/layer and in- growth. This supports the results presented rosity and moisture versus the experiment treatments. ter-day watering). air porosity and shear stress effects on soybean root development | G. po. in graphs and statistical analysis. Parra | pp. attributed mainly to reduced rooting volume. Figure 5 indicates the results of radical fresh weight. 22-30 Vol. According to Fageria. Root length (L) versus treatments. compaction. Figure Pienkowski (1999). Source: Authors own elaboration. Grzesiak. Iijima & Kono (1991). Source: Authors own elaboration. Hura. Hossne. Soil irrigation frequencies. ISSN 0188-6266 Figure 3 shows the results of the root length. air porosity and shear stress. Figure 4. Méndez. M. A. Trujillo. J. Figure 4 evidence the results of root length. Figure 3. Root length versus treatments.

Rooting volume (RSV) versus soil treatments. Independent variables Dependent variable Root length (L) Group 1 Group 2 Mean 1 Group 1 Mean 2 Group 2 C1Fr1 C4Fr3 65. C2Fr2 C3Fr2 55. with ac- cepted percentage product of soil compacting effect.98 T and the critical value for the comparison were of 11. Hossne.86 BCDEF 38. Differ- ent letters indicate statistically different averages.40 > 1. Variance analysis (ANOVA) for root length growth (L) Sum of Mean Sources DF F P square square Treatment 15 6313. Mean analysis by least significant difference and analysis of variance (ANOVA) for root length (L) (cm) for four levels of compaction (C) and four irrigation frequencies (Fr) that formed the treatments for a savanna sandy loam soil of the Monagas state in Venezuela. Parra | pp.02.76.8 420. DISCUSSION Root length versus irrigation period and air porosity. did not inhibited root growth.35 EFG Figure 6. Figure 7. M. A. air porosity and shear stress effects on soybean root development | G.09 ABCD 48. Source: Authors own elaboration.40 > 2. Root fresh mass (MFR) versus treatments. Méndez. Source: Authors own elaboration.26 FCritical 0. demonstrates that soil moisture was the variable almost influential for plant root development.80 CDEF C1Fr2 C2Fr3 60. 22-30 . Critical value of 1. the null hypothesis was rejected.98 AB 49. compaction.40 0.07 G Least significant difference (LSD). 1 Enero-Febrero 2015 Soil irrigation frequencies. ISSN 0188-6266 Table 2 presents the statistical results obtained from the least significant difference analysis and analysis of variance.19 DEFG C3Fr1 C3Fr4 56.75 EFG C2Fr1 C4Fr4 54.001(15:112) = 2.0001 Error 112 13 852.2 123.31 VC 21.84 ABCDE 41. Trujillo.0 Grand mean 52. The air porosity.803 and 3.08 A 50. As 3. air porosity (Ea) and soil moisture. soil air porosity and soil moisture.05(15:112) = 1. concluding that the results of the treatments were different.68 Total 127 20 166. shown in response surface of figure 2. C4Fr4 and C4Fr2 treatments view at the end of the experiment. Source: Authors own elaboration.803 y FCritical 0. Table 2. J. that exhibits the greatest root length assessments as Source: Authors own elaboration. but fewer prevalent than water application as it is the intense blue shadow path seen adjacent to the irrigation frequency coordinate Figure 5. F.92 3.90 FG C1Fr4 C1Fr3 51.96 ABCDE 46.05). 26 Vol.64 BCDEF C4Fr1 C4Fr3 60. Pairwise comparisons (p ≤ 0. 25 No.71 DEF C4Fr2 C2Fr4 59. noted in the palette values.756.81 ABC 49.00 ABCDE 47.

Similar results were reported by Blouin. 22-30 Vol. Compaction may affect may produce an effect the rootability of pores smaller the rate of elongation of roots. Méndez. became impercep. C3 and C4) did not produce an effect ditions of low water stress (Boyer. In this experiment for the cording to Blackwell. According to Carter To (R2 0. Trujillo. soybean production was probably attributable to the large variation of soil water content during the cycle It is observed in table 2 that the longest root length of soybeans. These results are supported by Blouin et compaction (C1) and maximum compaction (C4). Schumacher & Smucker (1984) specified that (τ) for different chamber pressures. els consequential to natural or provoked compaction. 1 Enero-Febrero 2015 27 . thus expansion of root length. Finlayson. concluding that the resistance should be considered Schmidt. portion of oxygen diffusion decreases to 10% or less.2 cm per moisture (w). of 0. they found that the smallest creasing with soil moisture increments. Lefevre & Cowan (1985). 2001). Grichko tible. ter content. Sands. 25 No.5 cm to 0. 1984). water con- the parameter that most influenced the root growth. Hossne et al. as a main factor of impact. M. (2004). Soybean roots appear to grow in soil under con- paction (C1. The limiting root strengths at low densities were as forced independent variables.72 MPa. 1990. Köphe. shows that the root development may be damaged by lack of oxygen resistance of the studied soil under satisfactory soil in compacted soils. When the pro- moisture was the almost influential upon root growth. Hossne. Taylor & Ratliff (1969) than the root diameter. showed that an increased penetration resistance of pacted soil some roots were able to widen pore spaces 1. 2001. Sivakumar. This indicates that moisture was lished relationships between soil strength. are more sensitive to water deficit (Davis. on the two soil water content levels: inter-day and daily 1980. in. the emergence of seedlings and root growth. Farrel & Larson. Shaw. and soil resistance (τ) achieved when the soil remained in a state of dryness. 5.946) and w ρS To Ea (R2 0. Roberson & Parker (1967) estab- ferent one another. harmful effects on plant growth (Drew. fresh mass and root volume are not shown attribut. tent. In this analysis. dry bulk density (ρS) and treatment (To) day. Garay & Wilhelmy 1983. Hesse & Böhm (1983) report. There al. of a fine sand seed bed from 19 kPa to 52 kPa reduced plied through the origin with independent variables seminal root elongation from 43. studied soil. show that the best root ening was much larger than the field capacity. J.7 mm per hour) formation is easier for roots when soil is wet (low soil through loose loamy sand. studies indicated that the growth of plants and roots ed that mechanical impediments increased as dry bulk were reduced when soil resistance reached critical lev- density increased and decreased by amplifying the wa. C2. 1975 and Zou. Taylor. tion in the world. Ac. the graphs for the results of & Glick. Drew. the roots it causes root injuries disabling its ability to function. These Thereon. According to Smucker & Erickson (1987) plants Savanna sandy soils large pores contain kaolinitic subject to compaction are more susceptible to water clays that are considered inexpansible but suitable Soil irrigation frequencies. A. that presents the curves of shear stress stress. strength (τ) in humid conditions near field and Boone. (1989) and Salter & Goode (1967) water stress was the ens that soil water content was the crucial component most important soil factor limiting agricultural produc- that influenced root growth. Johnson & Saupe. Engelaar & Yoneyama (2000) and Beutler. also. since the four levels of com. Centurion & Da Silva (2005). the best models. Misra & Hudson. Hossne (2004). Collis-George & Yoga- nathan (1985) showed that increasing shear strength By using the best subsets regression analysis ap. Ward. De Smet & van Loon (1985). were seven treatment groups without significant differ- ence. found that the air porosity tight- Figures 3. Voorhees. (2003). Taylor & irrigation. Ehlers. and air porosity (Ea) as not enforced. ISSN 0188-6266 Figure 3. This coincides value of penetrometer resistance caused reduction in with the statistical results already presented. At the highest levels of resistance of the soil. Pen- able to the same trends obtained. Such de. caused by low in the order of influence. He. this was expected. 4. tion to 50% of the maximum rate (2. during the period. compaction. ρS. At 2. This strength. 6 and 7.96 MPa no penetration occurred. soil wetness capacity was not influential. The same reduction was strength) than when it is dry (high soil strength). fresh mass and root volume causing little restriction on soybean root development were for every day and inter-day irrigation periods. F. Jordan & Morgan. Also. 1996.9 MPa decreased the speed of peanut root elonga- by deforming the space with root expansion. This noted for cotton root with only an increased resistance was notified by Hossne (2004). It is seen that soil fold. The lack of air porosity may cause moisture conditions (Fr1 and Fr2). It was observed that in com.949). air porosity and shear stress effects on soybean root development | G. Bulmer & Krzic (2004) and Coile (1948). Parra | pp. Using spring wheat. water content or apparent density. 1977). the use of both frequencies were indif. In this work the air porosity was much was achieved with the daily watering frequency for above 10%. for root length (L) were w.

31 cm) for four levels of compaction. ments with daily and inter-day irrigation frequencies. N. where water availabil. Soil Resistance to Penetra- tion and Least Limiting Water Range for Soybean Yield in a Haplustox from and 60%. G. (c) The radical fresh mass between 7. R. The atmosphere of the soil should contain an air space between 12% Beutler. (1985).58 g and 34. L. Afternoon water deficits and grain yields in old and new soybean cultivars. (december. V. 36. low water content or bulk density. Soil compaction and initial height growth of 83. No pen. physical impediments. plants will have a better environment in sandy soils if porosity is reduced because of the in. R. 1 Enero-Febrero 2015 Soil irrigation frequencies. The authors is grateful to the Research Council of the tion. The consequence of the compaction tion and emergence of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. They did tion and water content effects on lodgepole pine seedling growth in British not find a critical root limiting bulk density because Columbia. 28. E. Low shear strength attributable to the volume change caused by the Proc. In this regard. J. Breeding for drought tolerance in soybean: where do The results were: (a) The root length varied between 24 cm we stand? World Research Conference IV. T. root length mean scores were above the grand leaf pines in the Lower Piedmont region of North Carolina. S. ment that provides high infiltration and more water available for plants. C.. J. Potato Research. P. tor hammer drops showed their influence. Australian Journal of Soil Research. De Smet. contain function of the moisture. Bulmer. & Yoganathan. are warm. The ability of pri- mary root tips to enter. clays have small pores by soil compaction. Portland.0 cm3 99 cm3. (march. SuperSoil 2004: 3rd Australian New Zealand Soils Conference. 577-587. 981-982. R. High porosity clays have a high macro move. School of Forestry Bulletin. Soil resistance. Trujillo. then increasing moisture reten.) I.S. Note PNW-434. Lefevre. (b) The root volume between 2 cm3 and Buenos Aires. 2014. with a tendency of higher values planted ponderosa pine. Forest Service. Tokunaga (2006) concluded in his study that biomass production was greatest when water was Blackwell. 1989). A. 78. however. and oxygen is present. 13. S. root growth. M. C. Argentina. Retrieved january 15. A.. & Brock. a swelling clay soil by agricultural traffic. ISSN 0188-6266 farm machine processes. A.. Goldsmith. & Krzic. from www.. According to Kim (2000) roots survive and grow Universidad de Oriente in Venezuela for its support where the water needed is available.. Res. The root volume. Journal Soil the availability of water may be more important than Science. Schmidt. Pacific Northwest Research Station. Therefore. Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology Journal. 72. 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