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Silicon accumulation and water uptake by wheat

H.F. MAYLAND, J.L. WRIGHT and R.E. SOJKA
Plant and Soil
Vol. 137, No. 2 (November (II), 1991), pp. 191-199
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42937191
Page Count: 9
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Silicon accumulation and water uptake by wheat
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Abstract

Silicon (Si) content in cereal plants and soil-Si solubility may be used to estimate transpiration, assuming passive Si uptake. The hypothesis for passive-Si uptake by the transpiration stream was tested in wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. Stephens) grown on the irrigated Portneuf silt loam soil (Durixerollic calciorthid) near Twin Falls, Idaho. Treatments consisted of 5 levels of plant-available soil water ranging from 244 to 776 mm provided primarily by a line-source sprinkler irrigation system. Evapotranspiration was determined by the water-balance method and water uptake was calculated from evapotranspiration, shading, and duration of wet-surface soil. Water extraction occurred from the 0 to 150-cm zone in which equilibrium Si solubility (20°C) was 15 mg Si L⁻¹ in the Ap and Bk (0-58 cm depth) and 23 mg Si L⁻¹ in the Bkq (58-165 cm depth). At plant maturity, total Si uptake ranged from 10 to 32 g m⁻², above-ground dry matter from 1200 to 2100 g m⁻² and transpiration from 227 to 546 kg m⁻². Silicon uptake was correlated with transpiration (Siup = -0.7 + .06T, r² = 0.85) and dry matter yield with evapotranspiration (Y = 119 + 3.3ET, r² = 0.96). Actual Si uptake was 2.4 to 4.7 times that accounted for by passive uptake, supporting designation of wheat as a Si accumulator. The ratio of Si uptake to water uptake increased with soil moisture. The confirmation of active Si uptake precludes using Si uptake to estimate water use by wheat.

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