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Bioelectric potentials in the soil-plant system

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Eurasian Soil Science, Volume 46, Number 7, p.742–750 (2013)





A detailed study of the electric potentials in the soil–plant system was performed. It was found that the electric potential depends on the plant species and the soil properties. A theoretical interpretation of the obtained data was given. All the plants, independently from their species and their state, always had a negative electric potential relative to the soil. The electric potential of the herbaceous plants largely depended on the leaf area. In some plants, such as burdock (Arctium lappa) and hogweed (Heracleum sosnowskyi), the absolute values of the negative electric potential exceeded 100 {mV.} The electric potential was clearly differentiated by the plant organs: in the flowers, it was lower than in the leaves; in the leaves, it was usually lower than in the leaf rosettes and stems. The electric potentials displayed seasonal dynamics. As a rule, the higher the soil water content, the lower the electric potential of the plants. However, an inverse relationship was observed for dandelions (Taraxacum officinale). It can be supposed that the electric potential between the soil and the plant characterizes the vital energy of the plant.