An experimental setup to prepare root-free mycorrhizal soil specimen for hydraulic conductivity measurement

Xun Wen CHEN, Jason Lim COO, Pui San SO, Jun-Jian WANG, Charles Wang Wai NG, Ming Hung WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Purpose    The common mycorrhizal fungi associated with plant roots can reach a wide region in soil free of roots. The fungal hyphae and the generated organic matter affect soil hydraulic conductivity. Such an influence is so far not rigorously studied in the context of geotechnical systems subjected to the ecological process.
Methods    Here, we designed a new experimental setup to prepare density-controlled and intact root-free mycorrhizal soil, which could be readily transferred to the subsequent measurement of hydraulic conductivity. The soil column setup contains two compartments (with specific dimensions) which are separated by a nylon mesh. The upper compartment allows the establishment of both plant root and fungus, while the lower one allows the growth of fungal hyphae only, based on the nature that diameters of root and fungal hyphae are significantly different.
Results    Six root-free soil samples, including three non-mycorrhizal and three mycorrhizal samples, were obtained, and the hydraulic conductivities were successfully measured.
Conclusion    Our design allows further control and adjustment of the degree of soil compaction and level of soil saturation. Different plant and fungal species could be used according to field conditions. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1278–1285
JournalJournal of Soils and Sediments
Volume22
Issue number4
Early online date13 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Citation

Chen, X. W., Coo, J. L., So, P. S., Wang, J.‑J., Ng, C. W. W., & Wong, M. H. (2022). An experimental setup to prepare root-free mycorrhizal soil specimen for hydraulic conductivity measurement. Journal of Soils and Sediments. 44(4), 1278–1285. doi: 10.1007/s11368-022-03137-8

Keywords

  • Permeability
  • Water infiltration
  • Ecological process
  • Plant–fungus interaction
  • Glomalin
  • Geotechnical systems

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