Dynamics of Deep Water and N Uptake of Oilseed Rape (Brassica napus L.) Under Varied N and Water Supply

Front Plant Sci. 2022 Apr 29;13:866288. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2022.866288. eCollection 2022.

ABSTRACT

Enhanced nitrogen (N) and water uptake from deep soil layers may increase resource use efficiency while maintaining yield under stressed conditions. Winter oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) can develop deep roots and access deep-stored resources such as N and water to sustain its growth and productivity. Less is known of the performance of deep roots under varying water and N availability. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of reduced N and water supply on deep N and water uptake for oilseed rape. Oilseed rape plants grown in outdoor rhizotrons were supplied with 240 and 80 kg N ha-1, respectively, in 2019 whereas a well-watered and a water-deficit treatment were established in 2020. To track deep water and N uptake, a mixture of 2H2O and Ca(15NO3)2 was injected into the soil column at 0.5- and 1.7-m depths. δ2H in transpiration water and δ15N in leaves were measured after injection. δ15N values in biomass samples were also measured. Differences in N or water supply had less effect on root growth. The low N treatment reduced water uptake throughout the soil profile and altered water uptake distribution. The low N supply doubled the 15N uptake efficiency at both 0.5 and 1.7 m. Similarly, water deficit in the upper soil layers led to compensatory deep water uptake. Our findings highlight the increasing importance of deep roots for water uptake, which is essential for maintaining an adequate water supply in the late growing stage. Our results further indicate the benefit of reducing N supply for mitigating N leaching and altering water uptake from deep soil layers, yet at a potential cost of biomass reduction.

PMID:35574102 | PMC:PMC9100933 | DOI:10.3389/fpls.2022.866288

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