Principles of Soil and Plant Water Relations. [p. 14]

by M.B. Kirkham, Kansas State University. Imprint: Academic Press. 2005. xvii + 500 pages. Hardbound. ISBN: 0-12-409751-0. $79.95; £47.50.

Principles of Soil and Plant Water Relations combines biology and physics to show how water moves through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. Intended for graduate students in plant and soil science programs, this book also serves as a useful reference for agronomists, agricultural engineers, horticulturists, and plant ecologists. The book has 27 chapters organized to follow the movement of water through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. In addition, instrumentation and methods used to measure the status of water in the soil and plants are given. Each chapter ends with biographies of the scientists whose principles are discussed in that chapter. The chapters are as follows:

1. Introduction (Why study soil-plant-water relations; growth curves)
2. Definition of Physical Units and the International System
3. Structure and Properties of Water
4. Tensiometers
5. Soil-Water Terminology and Applications
6. Static Water in Soil
7. Water Movement in Saturated Soil
8. Field Capacity, Wilting Point, Available Water, and the Non-Limiting Water Range
9. Penetrometer Measurements
10. Measurement of Oxygen Diffusion Rate
11. Infiltration
12. Pore Volume
13. Time Domain Reflectometry to Measure Volumetric Soil Water Content
14. Root Anatomy and Poiseuille's Law for Water Flow in Roots
15. Gardner's Equation for Water Movement to Plant Roots
16. Measurement of Water Potential with Thermocouple Psychrometers
17. Measurement of Water Potential with Pressure Chambers
18. Stem Anatomy and Measurements of Osmotic Potential and Turgor Potential Using Pressure-Volume Curves
19. The Ascent of Water in Plants
20. Electrical Analogues for Water Movement through the Soil-Plant-Atmosphere Continuum
21. Leaf Anatomy and Leaf Elasticity
22. Stomata and Measurement of Stomatal Resistance
23. Solar Radiation, Black Bodies, Heat Budget, and Radiation Balance
24. Measurement of Canopy Temperature with Infrared Thermometers
25. Stress-Degree-Day Concept and Crop-Water-Stress Index
26. Potential Evapotranspiration
27. Water and Yield

Readers of the Annual Wheat Newsletter will be especially interested in the following chapters. In Chapter 14, wheat roots are used to demonstrate Poiseuille's law for water flow through roots. Evapotranspiration of wheat is considered in Chapter 25. Stomata of wheat are discussed in Chapter 22. The stress-degree-day concept is applied to wheat in Chapter 25. The relation between water and yield of wheat is shown in Chapter 27. A further description of the book and reviews of it are given on the book's Web page: Alternatively, one can go to and follow the instructions. The book is listed under "Agricultural and Biological Sciences." Under "Author," type in Kirkham (last name only).

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