Available water capacity

Available water capacity

Available water capacity or available water content (AWC) is the range of available water that can be stored in soil and be available for growing crops. [cite book |author=Richards, L.A. and Wadleigh, C.H. |year=1952 |chapter=Soil water and plant growth |title=Soil Physical Conditions and Plant Growth |editor=B.T. Shaw (Ed.) |series=American Society of Agronomy Series Monographs, Volume II |pages=74–251 |publisher=Academic Press |location=New York]

The concept, put forward by Frank Veihmeyer and Arthur Hendrickson, [cite journal |author=Veihmeyer, F.J. and Hendrickson, A.H. |year=1927 |title=The relation of soil moisture to cultivation and plant growth |journal=Proc. 1st Intern. Congr. Soil Sci. |volume=3 |pages=498–513 ] assumed that the water readily available to plants is the difference between water content at field capacityfc) and permanent wilting pointpwp):

a ≡ θfc − θpwp

Daniel Hillel criticised that the terms FC and PWP were never clearly defined, and lack physical basis, and that soil water is never equally available within this range. He further suggested that a useful concept should concurrently consider the properties of plant, soil and meteorological conditions.
Lorenzo A. Richards [cite journal |author=Richards, L.A. |year=1928 |title=The usefulness of capillary potential to soil moisture and plant investigators |journal=J. Agr. Res. |volume=37 |pages=719–742 ] remarked that the concept of availability is oversimplified. He viewed that: the term availability involves two notions: (a) the ability of plant root to absorb and use the water with which it is in contact and (b) the readiness or velocity with which the soil water moves in to replace that which has been used by the plant.


ee also

* Field capacity
* Permanent wilting point
* Nonlimiting water range
* Integral energy

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