Soilless Culture: Theory and Practice

1st Edition

Editors: Michael Raviv J. Heinrich Lieth
Authors: Michael Raviv
Hardcover ISBN: 9780444529756
eBook ISBN: 9780080556420
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 17th December 2007
Page Count: 608
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Plant production in hydroponics and soilless culture is rapidly expanding throughout the world, raising a great interest in the scientific community. For the first time in an authoritative reference book, authors cover both theoretical and practical aspects of hydroponics (growing plants without the use of soil). This reference book covers the state-of-the-art in this area, while offering a clear view of supplying plants with nutrients other than soil. Soilless Culture provides the reader with an understanding of the properties of the various soiless media and how these properties affect plant performance in relation to basic horticultural operations, such as irrigation and fertilization. This book is ideal for agronomists, horticulturalists, greenhouse and nursery managers, extension specialists, and people involved with the production of plants.

Key Features

  • Comprehensive discussion of hydroponic systems, irrigation, and control measures allows readers to achieve optimal performance
  • State-of-the-art book on all theoretical aspects of hydroponics and soilless culture including a thorough description of the root system, its functions and limitation posed by restricted root volume
  • Critical and updated reviews of current analytical methods and how to translate their results to irrigation and fertilization practices
  • Definitive chapters on recycled, no-discharge systems including salinity and nutrition management and pathogen eradication
  • Up-to-date description of all important types of growing media


Agronomists, horticulturalists, farmers, practitioners confronting problems

Table of Contents

List of Contributors Preface 1 Significance of Soilless Culture in Agriculture 1.1 Historical Facets of Soilless Production 1.2 Hydroponics 1.3 Soilless Production Agriculture References 2 Functions of the Root System 2.1 The Functions of the Root System 2.2 Depth of Root Penetration 2.3 Water Uptake 2.4 Response of Root Growth to Local Nutrient Concentrations 2.4.1 Nutrient Uptake 2.4.2 Root Elongation and P Uptake 2.4.3 Influence of N Form and Concentration 2.5 Interactions Between Environmental Conditions and Form of N Nutrition 2.5.1 Temperature and Root Growth 2.5.2 Role of Ca in Root Elongation 2.5.3 Light Intensity 2.5.4 pH 2.5.5 Urea 2.5.6 Mycorrhiza–Root Association 2.6 Roots as Source and Sink for Organic Compounds and Plant Hormones 2.6.1 Hormone Activity References Further Readings 3 Physical Characteristics of Soilless Media 3.1 Physical Properties of Soilless Media 3.1.1 Bulk Density 3.1.2 Particle Size Distribution 3.1.3 Porosity 3.1.4 Pore Distribution 3.2 Water Content and Water Potential in Soilless Media 3.2.1 Water Content 3.2.2 Capillarity, Water Potential and its Components 3.2.3 Water Retention Curve and Hysteresis 3.3 Water Movement in Soilless Media 3.3.1 Flow in Saturated Media 3.3.2 Flow in an Unsaturated Media 3.3.3 Richards Equation, Boundary and Initial Conditions 3.3.4 Wetting and Redistribution of Water in Soilless Media – Container Capacity 3.4 Uptake of Water by Plants in Soilless Media and Water Availability 3.4.1 Root Water Uptake 3.4.2 Modeling Root Water Uptake 3.4.3 Determining Momentary and Daily Water Uptake Rate 3.4.4 Roots Uptake Distribution Within Gro


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© Elsevier Science 2008
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About the Editor

Michael Raviv

Affiliations and Expertise

Newe Ya'ar Research Center, ARO, Department of Environmental Horticulture, Israel

J. Heinrich Lieth

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Plant Sciences, University of California - Davis, U.S.A.

About the Author

Michael Raviv

Affiliations and Expertise

Newe Ya'ar Research Center, ARO, Department of Environmental Horticulture, Israel