Ability of Citrus Root System to Overcome a Strong Wax Layer

  •  L. B. de Oliveira    
  •  M. A. Coelho Filho    
  •  S. S. Arriero    
  •  F. A. Gomes Júnior    
  •  A. M. W. Cova    
  •  W. S. Soares Filho    
  •  A. S. Gesteira    


The present work aimed to investigate the effects of mechanical impedance of wax layer (wax discs were installed 0.1 m deep) on root system deepening of citrus seedlings growing in columns with sand and nutrient solution. Two planting systems were evaluated: direct seeding (DS) and planting of seedlings (PS) (plants obtained from seed germination in tubes). Two experiments were carried out in a sequence: first to investigate the wax layer resistance levels (0.14 to 2.7 MPa) on root system penetration and two planting systems (DS and PS). The second evaluated the root and plant development of the two planting systems and two resistance of wax layer to root penetration: control (0.14 MPa) and a strong wax layer (1.06 MPa). The experimental design was randomized blocks, the first experiment in a 2 × 4 factorial scheme with 4 replications and the second a 2 × 2 factorial scheme with 6 replications. Resistance level ≥ 1.52 MPa (60% hard wax and 40% soft wax) completely limited root penetration in the artificial strong layer. The presence of strong wax disc reduced the citrus root system in both planting systems. PS was associated with greater root and shoot vigor, indicating that, in soils with good physical structure and porosity or allowing root deepening beyond the cohesive layer, this planting system is fully adequate, despite the possible benefit of not cutting the pivoting root in direct sowing.

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