Timing of Waterlogging Is Crucial for the Development of Micronutrient Deficiencies or Toxicities in Winter Wheat and Rapeseed

  • Anna-Catharina Wollmer
  • Britta Pitann
  • Karl-Hermann MühlingEmail author


Waterlogging events affect soil properties, which alter plant nutrient availability and result in an increased solubility of micronutrients. Until now, it has not been conclusively determined whether plants take up increased concentrations of plant-available Mn, Fe, Cu, or Zn during a period of waterlogging. The aim of this study was to analyze (1) if the micronutrient concentrations increase in plant tissues after waterlogging or (2) rather lead to micronutrient deficiencies, and (3) if this process depends on the developmental stage in which the plant was flooded. Winter wheat and rapeseed were cultivated in large containers and water-logged at two developmental stages: DC 31 (first node visible) and DC 51 (beginning of ear emergence/floral bud appearance). Early waterlogging did not result in microelement toxicities neither in winter wheat nor in rapeseed, although the Mn concentration in rapeseed shoots was significantly increased. On the contrary, in rapeseed, early waterlogging resulted in significantly decreased Cu and Zn concentrations. After late waterlogging, plants accumulated high amounts of Mn and Fe (wheat) or Mn, Cu, and Zn (rapeseed), leading to toxic levels. We conclude that the occurrence of micronutrient deficiencies or toxicities depends on the developmental stage in which the plant was flooded.


Waterlogging Winter wheat Rapeseed Micronutrients Large-scale containers 



Anna-Catharina Wollmer gratefully acknowledges the financial support provided by the Vereinigte Hagelversicherung VVaG, Gießen.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Plant Nutrition and Soil ScienceKiel UniversityKielGermany

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