Journal Article

The effects of water regime on phosphorus responses of rainfed lowland rice cultivars

O. Huguenin-Elie, G. J. D. Kirk and E. Frossard

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 103, issue 2, pages 211-220
Published in print January 2009 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online October 2008 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcn199
The effects of water regime on phosphorus responses of rainfed lowland rice cultivars

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
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Background and Aims

Soil phosphorus (P) solubility declines sharply when a flooded soil drains, and an important component of rice (Oryza sativa) adaptation to rainfed lowland environments is the ability to absorb and utilize P under such conditions. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that rice cultivars differ in their P responses between water regimes because P uptake mechanisms differ.

Methods

Six lowland rice cultivars (three considered tolerant of low P soils, three sensitive) were grown in a factorial experiment with three water regimes (flooded, moist and flooded-then-moist) and four soil P levels, and growth and P uptake were measured. Small volumes of soil were used to maximize inter-root competition and uptake per unit root surface. The results were compared with the predictions of a model allowing for the effects of water regime on P solubility and diffusion.

Key Results

The plants were P stressed but not water stressed in all the water regimes at all P levels except the higher P additions in the flooded soil. The cultivar rankings scarcely differed between the water regimes and P additions. In all the treatments, the soil P concentrations required to explain the measured uptake were several times the concentration of freely available P in the soil.

Conclusions

The cultivar rankings were driven more by differences in growth habit than specific P uptake mechanisms, so the hypothesis cannot be corroborated with these data. Evidently all the plants could tap sparingly soluble forms of P by releasing a solubilizing agent or producing a greater root length than measured, or both. However, any cultivar differences in this were not apparent in greater net P uptake, possibly because the restricted rooting volume meant that additional P uptake could not be converted into new root growth to explore new soil volumes.

Keywords: Oryza sativa; rainfed lowland; phosphorus efficiency; root morphology; solubilization; rice cultivar

Journal Article.  6271 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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