Oxygen supply and consumption in soilless culture: evaluation of an oxygen simulation model for cucumber

R. Baas, G. Wever, A.J. Koolen, E. Tariku, K.J. Stol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A soil oxygen simulation model (OXSI) was tested and evaluated for evaluating growing media with respect to aeration. In the model, local oxygen concentrations are calculated from coefficients of diffusion and consumption (respiration), assuming equilibrium conditions. Apparent oxygen diffusion coefficients (D) were determined under laboratory conditions in 5 cm high samples at different water contents (-3.2, -10 and -20 cm pressure heads). D values were positively related to air-filled porosity (AFP). For fine-graded perlite D ranged from 9.10-7 at AFP of 34 percent to 5.10-9 m2s-1 at AFP of 19 percent. Possibly due to absence of closed pores in rockwool, the AFP vs. D relation was different for rockwool compared to perlite: D for rockwool ranged from 2.10-6 at AFP of 56 percent to 3.10-9 m2s-1 at AFP of 3 percent. A greenhouse experiment with cucumber was carried out to determine respiration and realised oxygen concentrations. The cucumbers were grown in 20 cm high, 3.5 litre containers filled with fine-graded perlite and supplied with high-frequency irrigation. AFP varied between 25 and 45 percent. At three heights and on four occasions during growth, oxygen concentration ( f volume) in the medium varied between 16.6 and 20 n the perlite. Root respiration of the cucumbers as determined by two independent methods (in vivo and in vitro) ranged from 1.4 to 5.4 10-6 ml.ml-1.s-1. Using these respiration rates, OXSI calculated that no oxygen depletion may occur at D > 1 to 5 10-7 m2s-1, corresponding with an AFP of 30 percent for both perlite and rockwool. Anoxic condtions were calculated for D values of 10-8 m2s-1, corresponding with AFP below 10 percent for rockwool and 20 percent for perlite.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-164
JournalActa Horticulturae
Volume554
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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