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What is soil moisture?<br>The science behind the measurement

What is soil moisture?
The science behind the measurement

Whether you’re a grad student embarking on an environmental measurement campaign, an experienced researcher, or a grower concerned with irrigation management, at some point you’ve probably realized you need to measure soil moisture. Why? Because water availability is one of the main drivers of ecosystem productivity, and soil moisture (i. e., soil water content/soil water potential) is the immediate source of water for most plants. What is soil moisture? This article provides a comprehensive look at the scientific definition of soil moisture, why you need it, how to measure it, which parameter you should measure, and it explores important scientific terms used in conjunction with soil moisture.  Learn:

  • What does soil moisture mean?
  • Which variable should I measure?
  • Soil water content: just an amount
  • Gravimetric vs. Volumetric water content (VWC)
  • How to measure VWC
  • Why use a sensor?
  • What is saturation?
  • What is water potential?
  • Predict water movement
  • Plant available water
  • Field capacity
  • Permanent wilting point
  • Soil type
  • Soil water retention curves
  • Do I need water content or water potential?

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