Effect of soil temperature on plant growth
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Effect of soil temperature on plant growth

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a) Soil temperature requirements of plants: The soil temperature requirements

of plants vary with the species. The temperature at which a plant thrives and

produces best growth is called optimum range (temperature). The entire range of

temperature under which a plant can grow including the optimum range is called

growth range. The maximum and minimum temperatures beyond which the plant

will die are called survival limits.

Range Maize (C) Wheat (C)

Optimum range 25 - 35 15 - 27

Growth range 10 - 39 5 - 35

Survival limits 0 - 43 0 - 43

b) Availability of soil water and plant nutrients: The free energy of water

increases with temperature. Up to wilting point limit, warming of soil increases

water availability beyond which it decreases. Low temperatures reduce the nutrient

availability, microbial activities and root growth and branching. The ability to

absorb nutrients and water by plants reduces at low temperatures.

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