Crop and Pasture Science Crop and Pasture Science Society
Plant sciences, sustainable farming systems and food quality
REVIEW

Waterlogging in Australian agricultural landscapes: a review of plant responses and crop models

Ruth E. Shaw A C , Wayne S. Meyer A , Ann McNeill B and Stephen D. Tyerman B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia.

B School of Agriculture Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: ruth.shaw@adelaide.edu.au

Crop and Pasture Science 64(6) 549-562 https://doi.org/10.1071/CP13080
Submitted: 4 March 2013  Accepted: 23 July 2013   Published: 30 August 2013

Abstract

This review summarises reported observations of the effects of waterlogging on agricultural production in Australia and briefly discusses potential remediation strategies. Inconsistencies are demonstrated in the current indicators used for assessment of waterlogging potential across agricultural landscapes as well as in parameters measured in waterlogging studies. It is suggested that predictions of waterlogging potential for landscapes should be based on a minimum dataset that includes pedological, topographical, and climate data for the defined area, as well as observations of plant morphological appearance and visible surface water. The review also summarises the effects of low oxygen concentration in soil on rhizosphere processes, and discusses evidence for direct effects on plant physiology of reductions in soil oxygen caused by waterlogging. Finally, the review describes current crop growth, water use, and yield simulation models used in Australia (SWAGMAN, DRAINMOD, and APSIM) that incorporate waterlogging stress. It is suggested that there is scope for modifications to these models based on recent improved understanding of plant physiological responses to waterlogging and on further research. The review concludes that improvements in modelling waterlogging outcomes to assist growth and yield predictions should ultimately enhance management capacity for growers.

Additional keywords: raised bed, drainage, aquaporin, hydraulic conductivity, soil aeration, economics.


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