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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 73 No. 4, p. 671-673
    Received: Oct 20, 1980

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Some Characteristics of Plinthite Inhibiting Plant Growth1

  1. H. F. Perkins and
  2. Egbert Kaihulla2



Plant roots do not readily penetrate soil horizons containing plinthite. This study was conducted to determine some chemical and physical characteristics of plinthite which appear inhibitory to normal plant growth. Field and laboratory studies indicate that bulk density of plinthite is higher than non-plinthic material surrounding nodular plinthite bodies. Bulk density of non-plinthic material associated with nodular plinthite bodies is comparable to soil without plinthite. Samples from the Ap, B22tpl, and C horizons of a Tifton soil (fine-loamy, silicious, thermic family of Plinthic Paleudults) were collected and placed in containers to simulate field arrangement of soil horizons and a test crop of grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) was grown under different treatments of CaCO3 and CaSO4. Aluminum toxicity was overcome by adding CaCO3. Soluble Al was reduced by CaCO3 but not by CaSO4. The addition of CaSO4 had less effect on yield, Ca uptake, and suppression of Al uptake by sorghum plants than CaCO8. There was no major root growth in the plinthic layer except when soluble Al was removed by CaCO3 addition.

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