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Phosphorus uptake by plants and ion concentrations in fertilizer zones as affected by ammonium, potassium and dilution



Phosphorus uptake by plants and ion concentrations in fertilizer zones as affected by ammonium, potassium and dilution



Proceedings of the symposium on the use of isotopes and radiation in soil-plant nutrition studies, 28 June 2 July, , Ankara, Turkey 413-424



Studies on the interaction of phosphate and ammonium in soils had shown that plant roots would not penetrate fertilizer zones surrounding pellets of monocalcium phosphate (MCP), MCP+NH4Cl or MCP + KCl when ion concentrations had arrived at a static condition in a soil maintained at field capacity. It was con-cluded that this was not the situation that plants would normally en-counter in the field, but that some dilution of the ionic concentration around a fertilizer pellet must occur to permit root entry into these zones. To study this further, P32-labelled fertilizer pellets of MCP, MCP + NH4Cl and MCP + KCl were embedded in columns of a Dakota sandy loam at field capacity and allowed to come to equilibrium. These columns were then leached with 0, 2, 4 or 8 cm of water. Soils from some of the columns were sampled for chemical analysis. Corn was grown on others. Corn would not grow on non-leached columns, would penetrate only partially into those treated with 2 cm of water, but would permeate columns to which 4 and 8 cm of water was added. Phosphorus-32 analyses of corn tissue showed that P uptake from columns leached with 4 cm of water was about 3 times that from any other treatment. Chemical analysis of the soils on which this phenomenon was observed showed the pH to be about 6 or above at distances 1 cm and further from the pellet site, regardless of pellet composition. In a NH4Cl or KCl regime Ca moved out in significant amounts to distances of 7 cm below the pellet, which was 10 times the amount found at this distance from MCP pellets. Ammonium and K also moved away from the pellet in all directions, and in amounts of over 4 meq. at distances of 7 cm from the pellet site. Conductivity of water extracts was significantly higher in all zones away from MCP + NH4Cl and MCP + KCl than in zones surrounding MCP alone. The composition of the fertilizer pellet did not significantly affect the water-soluble P level in any zones studied. Qualitative observa-tions of root numbers in the soil columns showed no major differences as a result of pellet composition. These studies demonstrated again than in the presence of NH4 ion P uptake by plants under some conditions is greatly increased. It was concluded from root observations and P analyses of the soil that the effects of NH4 on P absorption by plants is probably a physiological one.

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Phosphorus uptake by plants and ion concentrations in fertilizer zones as affected by ammonium, potassium and dilution. "Isotopes and Radiation in Soil-Plant Nutrition Studies". Proc. Symp. FAO/IAEA Ankara, 1968. 413-424, 1968

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