By W. R. GARDNER United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Soil and Water Conservation Research Division, U. S. Salinity Laboratory, Riverside, California The concept of soil-water availability to plants has come to mean many things to many people. There have been numerous attempts to explain just what is meant by this concept (50, 5 7, 68, 108, 111, 137) . That there should be a problem in conceptually relating soil moisture to plant response is atÂ tributed in large part to the fact that the soil-water-plant system is a dynamic system in which the plant is seldom, if ever, in equilibrium with the soil. Relatively large quantities of water move through the plant and are tranÂ spired in a manner which is often governed more directly by conditions in the atmosphere external to the soil-plant system than by plant and soil factors. Much of the controversy concerning the relative availability of soil water stems from a failure to define this concept precisely and quantitatively. A rapidly developing quantitative understanding of the processes by which water moves from the soil through the plant to the atmosphere now makes it possible to replace previous concepts, which are of
Annual Review of Plant Biology – Annual Reviews
Published: Jun 1, 1965
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