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Horticultura Brasileira

Print version ISSN 0102-0536


BARRETO, Carlos Vinícius G; TESTEZLAF, Roberto  and  SALVADOR, Conan A. Dynamics of matric potential on substrates of pine and coconut under the action of capillarity. Hortic. Bras. [online]. 2012, vol.30, n.1, pp.26-31. ISSN 0102-0536.

The average particle size and porosity of substrates affects the matrix properties of root growth media, interfering in water holding and water conductivity capacity through substrates. The knowledge of these attributes is essential in capillary irrigation processes to allow the wetting front reaches upper layers under easily available water tension. The present work had the objective to study the water rise by capillary processes to determine the most favorable position of the saturation level for contained plants for two substrates: coconut fiber and pine bark, with two grain particle sizes: fine and coarse textures. Water rise trails were carried out in segmented columns filled with substrates. The water content in each column segment was estimated in weight basis and related to the values of water tension estimated by the water tension curve for each evaluated substrate. The results showed that fine substrates presented higher water rise with adequate levels of easily available water. The fine coconut substrate presented easily available water in the entire substrate column, unlike pine bark substrate that showed the upper layer with moisture below the wilting point. The fine coconut substrate showed the best results for capillary application, allowing to recommend irrigation schedule using the saturation level at 5 cm during 15 minutes.

Keywords : Easily available water; subirrigation; root growth media.

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