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Background and aims: Root hairs play a significant role in phosphorus (P) extraction at the pore scale. However, their importance at the field scale remains poorly understood.
Methods: This study uses a continuum model to explore the impact of root hairs on the large-scale uptake of P, comparing root hair influence under different agricultural scenarios. High vs low and constant vs decaying P concentrations down the soil profile are considered, along with early vs late precipitation scenarios.
Results: Simulation results suggest root hairs accounted for 50% of total P uptake by plants. Furthermore, a delayed initiation time of precipitation potentially limits the P uptake rate by over 50% depending on the growth period. Despite the large differences in the uptake rate, changes in the soil P concentration in the domain due to root solute uptake remains marginal when considering a single growth season. However, over the duration of 6 years, simulation results showed that noticeable differences arise over time.
Conclusion: Root hairs are critical to P capture, with uptake efficiency potentially enhanced by coordinating irrigation with P application during earlier growth stages of crops.
- Mathematical modelling
- Plant roots
- Root hairs