Bulk density and relationship air/water of horticultural substrate

Carolina Fernandes, José Eduardo Corá
2004 Scientia Agricola  
Change on substrate bulk density during the growing period may negatively affect other substrate physical properties and, consequently, plant growth. The objectives of this research were 1) to characterize physical properties of two horticultural substrates (S1 and S2), 2) to evaluate the effect of different bulk densities values of those substrates on their air/water relationship, and 3) to develop mathematical functions to estimate the air/water relationship by increasing substrates bulk
more » ... ubstrates bulk density value. First, the distribution of particles size, the bulk density, and the water release curve of the substrates were determined. Then, substrates were packed with three different bulk density values, i.e. 10% (D1), 20% (D2) and 30% (D3), higher than the bulk density (D) determined in the characterization phase. The water release curves were determined for each bulk density value of both substrates. The effect of increasing substrate bulk density in the total porosity (TP), aeration space (AS), available water (AW), easily available water (EAW), buffering water (BW), and in the remaining water (RW) was evaluated using simple linear regression and polynomial analysis. The particles size distribution and the water release curves were significantly different for the two substrates. Increasing the bulk density value decreased TP and AS, and increased BW and RW. The highest values of AW and EAW were observed for D1. Regression equations obtained can be used to choose the more appropriate air/water relationship for each growing condition.
doi:10.1590/s0103-90162004000400015 fatcat:zlfbtdgp3rfelk3jjgna4hbx5i