ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 51 Number 2
Use of large soil monoliths in the study of soil/ plant relationships
Between the difficulty of in-field studies of soil/plant/water relationships and the irrelevance of many in-laboratory approaches, there must be satisfactory compromises. Such compromises should maximize the relevance to real-life soils by using reasonably large samples whilst being able to deal with the samples under reasonably controlled conditions. The oil drum monolith is offered as one such compromise. The paper briefly summarizes work in Barbados using this method to assess : (a) available water capacity; (b) field capacity; (c) the effect of soils and cultivation on root growth· (d) drainage; (e) nutrient availability and loss; and (f) erosion hazards.