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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Aluminum Effects on Growth, Mineral Uptake, and Efficiency Ratios in Red Clover Cultivars1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 79 No. 6, p. 1038-1044
    Received: Jan 20, 1987

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  1. V. C. Baligar,
  2. R. J. Wright,
  3. T. B. Kinraide,
  4. C. D. Foy and
  5. J. H. Elgin Jr.2



Red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) is an important hay or pasture crop of the humid region of the United States, and its adaptability to acid infertile soils is still unknown. Research was undertaken to evaluate the effects of five levels of Al (0, 25, 50, 75, and 100 µmol L−1) on growth, uptake, and mineral nutrient efficiency ratios (ER) in 23 red clover cultivars. The ER is defined as milligrams of dry shoot weight produced per milligrams of element in the shoot. The initial solution pH of 4.5 changed due to crop growth, and such effects might have altered the concentrations of Al; however, relative comparisons between cultivar responses were possible. The growth of shoots and roots showed significant differences with respect to Al levels, cultivars, and their interactions. At 50 µmol L−1 Al, the average reduction of shoot and root growth was 73 and 57% of control, respectively. Overall shoot nutrient content showed a significant positive correlation with shoot and root dry weight, and inverse relations with treatment Al levels and shoot Al concentrations. The ER assisted in differentiating cultivars into efficient and inefficient utilizers of the absorbed nutrients. With the exception of the ER for Ca, Mg, and Mn, overall inverse relations were observed between Al levels and ER. The cultivars used in this study showed intraspecific genetic diversity in growth and ER values for the essential elements in the presence or absence of Al. ‘Kuhn’ and ‘Prosper I’ are the recommended cultivars for moderately acidic soils.

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