Plant and Soil

, Volume 401, Issue 1–2, pp 169–183 | Cite as

Accumulation and partitioning of biomass, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium among different tissues during the life cycle of rice grown under different water management regimes

  • K. A. T. N. Somaweera
  • L. D. B. Suriyagoda
  • D. N. Sirisena
  • W. A. J. M. De Costa
Regular Article


Background and aims

Knowledge on periodic uptake, accumulation and allocation of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) in different tissues of a rice plant under different soil moisture management conditions is important when implementing efficient and effective water management practices ensuring sustainable rice production.


Rice variety Bg358 was grown in soil columns containing sufficient amounts of N, P and K. Four water management treatments were used; (i) continuous flooding (CF) of soil from crop establishment to maturity, (ii) CF until tillering (4 weeks) and Alternative Wetting and Drying (AWD4) thereafter, (iii) CF until flowering (10 weeks) and AWD thereafter (AWD10), (iv) CF until flowering and Top Soil Drying (TSD) thereafter (TSD10). Harvests were made in 2 weeks intervals.

Key results

Root growth of AWD4 decreased from 4th week compared with CF, and then enhanced from flowering onwards; thereby developing more roots in the top 20 cm soil layer increasing the root mass ratio. Both N and K uptake continued until maturity while P uptake continued until 2 weeks before maturity, and the amount taken up was highest for K and lowest for P. Moisture limitations substantially reduced tissue P content and retranslocation of P to panicles while the lowest reductions were observed in N. Therefore, internal utilisation was most efficient for P and lowest for N i.e., during grain filling N resorbed only from flag leaves, K from green, dead and flag leaves and only in AWD4, and P from green, flag and dead leaves, and stems.


Initially reduced root growth under AWD stimulated after flowering. Soil moisture limitation reduced P uptake greatly and thus had most efficient internal P utilisation mechanisms throughout the life cycle while those of N were the lowest.


Aerobic rice Drought Growth Irrigation Partitioning Plasticity Resorption Retranslocation 



The authors appreciate the financial support from the National Research Council, Sri Lanka under the grant NRC-11-179, and technical assistance provided by G. Wijesuriya. Authors appreciate the critical comments given by Dr LW Galagedara, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada and two reviewers to an earlier version of this manuscript.

Supplementary material

11104_2015_2541_MOESM1_ESM.doc (84 kb)
Table S1 Significance of different sources of variability (DOC 83 kb)
11104_2015_2541_MOESM2_ESM.doc (325 kb)
Fig. S1 Nitrogen (N) (a and b), phosphorus (P) (c and d) and potassium (K) (e and f) contents in different shoot components of rice plants from flowering (10th week) to maturity (16th week) when exposed to either Continuous Flooding (CF), Alternate Wetting and Drying from 4th or 10th week (AWD4 and AWD10, respectively), or Top Soil Drying from 10th week (TSD10) Note: the difference in Y-axis scale, (mean values ± se, n = 4) Note: the difference in Y-axis scales (DOC 325 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. A. T. N. Somaweera
    • 1
  • L. D. B. Suriyagoda
    • 2
    • 3
  • D. N. Sirisena
    • 4
  • W. A. J. M. De Costa
    • 2
  1. 1.Postgraduate Institute of AgricultureUniversity of PreradeniyaPeradeniyaSri Lanka
  2. 2.Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of PeradeniyaPeradeniyaSri Lanka
  3. 3.School of Plant Biology and Institute of AgricultureThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  4. 4.Rice Research and Development InstituteIbbagamuwaSri Lanka

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