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The influence of nitrogen concentration and ammonium/nitrate ratio on nitrogen-uptake, mineral composition and yield of citrus


The influence of nitrogen concentration and ammonium/nitrate ratio on nitrogen-uptake, mineral composition and yield of citrus



Plant and Soil 147(1): 13-23



ISSN/ISBN: 0032-079X

In short-term water culture experiments with different 15N labeled ammonium or nitrate concentrations, citrus seedlings absorbed NH-4+ at a higher rte than NO-3-. Maximum NO-3- uptake by the whole plants occurred at 120 mg L-1 NO-3--N, whereas NH-4+ absorption was saturated at 240 mg L-1 NH-4+-N. 15NH-4+ accumulated in roots and to a lesser degree in both leaves and stems. However, 15NO-3- was mostly partitioned between leaves and roots. Adding increasing amounts of unlabeled NH-4+ (15-60 mg L-1 N) to nutrient solutions containing 120 mg L-1 N as 15N labeled nitrate reduced 15NO-3- uptake. Maximum inhibition of 15NO-3- uptake was about 55% at 2.14 mM NH-4+ (30 mg L-1 NH-4+-N) and it did not increase any further at higher NH-4+ proportions. In a long-term experiment, the effects of concentration and source of added N (NO-3- or NH-4+) on nutrient concentrations in leaves from plants grown in sand were evaluated. Leaf concentration of N, P, Mg, Fe and Cu were increased by NH-4+ versus NO-3- nutrition, whereas the reverse was true for Ca, K, Zn and Mn. The effects of different NO-3--N: NH-4+-N ratios (100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75 and 0:100) at 120 mg L-1 total N on leaf nutrient concentrations, fruit yield and fruit characteristics were investigated in another long-term experiment with plants grown in sand cultures. Nitrogen concentrations in leaves were highest when plants were provided with either NO-3- or NH-4+ as a sole source of N. Lowest N concentration in leaves was found with a 75:25 NO-3--N/NH-4+-N ratio. With increasing proportions of NH-4+ in the N supply, leaf nutrients such as P, Mg, Fe and Cu increased, whereas Ca, K, Mn and Zn decreased. Yield in number of fruits per tree was increased significantly by supplying all N as NH-4+, although fruit weight was reduced. The number of fruits per tree was lowest with the 75:25 NO-3--N: NH-4+-N ratio, but in this treatment fruits reached their highest weight. Rind thickness, juice acidity, and colour index of fruits decreased with increasing NH-4+ in the N supply, whereas the % pulp and maturity index increased. Percent of juice in fruits and total soluble solids were only slightly affected by NO-3-: NH-4+ ratio.

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Accession: 010007184

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