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Sulfur requirements during early growth of Trifolium balansae, Trifolium subterraneum, Medicago murex, and Phalaris aquatica



Sulfur requirements during early growth of Trifolium balansae, Trifolium subterraneum, Medicago murex, and Phalaris aquatica



Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 35(2): 199-208



Sulfur (S) requirements for early growth were determined for 3 legumes (Trifolium balansae, T. subterraneum, Medicago murex) and 1 grass (Phalaris aquatica). Plants were grown in sand culture in a glasshouse and supplied with nutrient solutions containing 6 rates of S (1-32 mu-g/mL). Legumes were supplied with nitrogen (N) at 168 mu-g/mL, and phalaris with 28 or 168 mu-g N/mL. Plants were sampled twice, the second sampling coinciding with flowering of the legumes. Diagnostic indices (total S (S-t), HI-reducible S (sulfate-S), oxidized S (S-6+)), and ratios (sulfate-S/S-t, S-6+/S-t) were derived for whole shoots (WS), youngest open leaves (YOL) of legumes, and youngest expanded blades (YEB) of the grass. The largest responses to S by the legumes were made by balansa clover and murex medic, which both outyielded subterranean clover, but subterranean clover was the most efficient user of S and had the lowest external S requirement. Concentrations of S-6+ were always higher than concentrations of sulfate-S, but the 2 were highly correlated and much lower than S-t. No S fraction or plant part sampled was consistently superior as an indicator of S status. The larger relative increases and sharper breaks in gradient of the relationships between yield and sulfate-S or S-6+ compared with S-t were offset by their greater relative variability. All indices were subject to Piper-Steenbjerg effects, although these did not seriously affect the critical values. Critical values of S-t and S-6+ in YOL, S-t in WS of balansa clover, and S-t and S-6+ in WS of subterranean clover changed little up to 60 days after sowing, but it was necessary to know plant age when assessing the S status of murex medic or phalaris. Critical concentrations of S-t in phalaris were little affected by N supply, but critical concentrations of sulfate-S and S-6+ were higher with 28 than 168 mu-g N/mL. Critical values for subterranean clover agreed well with previously published data.

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Accession: 002705112

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1071/EA9950199



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