Effect of surfactants and leaf surface morphology on the evaporation time and coverage area of ZnIDHA droplets
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The aim of the study was to determine the effects of the addition of surfactants to ZnIDHA fertilizer on the area of leaf coverage and water evaporation time taking into account the morphology of leaf blades. The effect of three surfactants (polyglucoside, alcohol EO (ethylene oxide) and trisiloxane) on the size of the leaf coverage area and evaporation time was compared.
Adaxial leaf surfaces of maize (Zea mays L. `Wilga`), wheat (Triticum aestivum `Adana-99`) and rapeseed (Brassica napus L. `F1`) were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and laser scanning confocal microscopy. The contact angle for aqueous ZnIDHA solutions with and without the addition of surfactants was determined. Measurements of droplet evaporation time and area of leaf coverage were conducted at the relative humidity of 60±1%.
The adaxial surfaces of wheat and rapeseed leaves used in the study can be classified as highly non-wettable, whereas maize leaves are no-wettable. Out of the surfactants under study, the largest leaf coverage area was observed when adding the trisiloxane surfactant. Regardless of the surfactant used, the leaf coverage area decreased and the evaporation time increased for fertilizer droplets applied to the maize, rapeseed and wheat leaves.
This study demonstrated that the addition of surfactants to the fertilizer solution increases the wettability of the adaxial leaf surface and induces a strong capillary effect which determines the direction of spread of fertilizer droplets. In addition to the amount of trichomes and waxes, also the capillary effect has a significant impact on water evaporation time and the area of leaf coverage by fertilizer droplets.
KeywordsMorphology leaf Surfactant Contact angle Foliar fertilizer ZnIDHA Wettability
The financial support of Ministry of Science and High Education (Poland) is gratefully acknowledged (Grant 03/32/DPB/0802).
We would like to thank Adam Nawrocki (PPC ADOB Sp. z o.o. Sp. k.) for financial support during this study.
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