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Interrelationships between growth and nutrient uptake in alfalfa medicago sativa and corn zea mays



Interrelationships between growth and nutrient uptake in alfalfa medicago sativa and corn zea mays



Journal of Plant Nutrition 9(11): 1391-1404



Nutrient requirements of plants during their various phases of growth are affected by several internal and external factors. The changes in rates of uptake by root with age are an important factor to meet the increasing plant demand for nutrients. Nutrient culture experiments were carried out under controlled greenhouse conditions with corn (Zea mays L.) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) to investigate the relationship of stage of growth to changes in plant parameters and nutrient uptake properties. With advancement of age, both plant species increased their ambient growth medium pH towards neutrality. With increasing age in alfalfa there was very little change in observed S:R ratio and root growth rate. On the other hand in corn plants the S:R ratio increased and growth rate for root and shoot decreased with age. Alfalfa contained higher concentrations of N, K, Na, and Ca than corn; while ion concentrations in both crops decreased with plant age. At all stages of growth, alfalfa absorbed less nutrients than corn. The rates of nutrient influx, In in both the crops showed various degrees of correlation with age and rate of shoot growth. In corn, In for ions reached a maximum at 25 days growth; whereas, in alfalfa, In reached maximum at 30 days of growth. The differences in influx rates for different ions in the two species are probably due to the difference in development of shoot and root parameters and shoot demand for the ions.

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