Soil Moisture

Soil moisture is also a critical variable in solarization thermal effect, as heat transfer to microorganisms, weed seeds, and plants in soil is greatly increased by moisture. Moreover, soil moisture favors cell activities in seeds and soilborne microorganisms growth, making them more vulnerable to lethal effects of high temperatures. Modeling studies show that highest soil temperature were only achieved with an increased soil water content (Mahrer et al. 1984; Naot et al. 1987), but a linear association between heat capacity and soil water content was also stated by other authors (De Vries 1963; Sesveren et al. 2006). Adversely, an inverse relationship between soil maximum temperatures and moisture content was described by Al-Karaghouli and Al-Kaysi (2001), concluding that repeated watering during solarization is not needed for soil pathogens eradication.

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