An understanding of how environmental factors can alter accumulation of nutrients by plants is needed to anticipate and prevent mineral deficiencies in both plants and grazing animals. To determine the effects of root zone temperature (RZT) and Ca level on mineral concentrations of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), ‘Centurk’ seedlings were grown under three RZT regimes (constant 8°C, constant 16°C, and transferral from 8°C after 23 d to 16°C) and four Ca levels (0.2, 0.6, 2.0, and 5.0 mM) in nutrient solution. Plants grown at 8°C RZT had significantly lower shoot and root concentrations and unit absorption rates of P, S, Cu, Zn, and Mn than did those grown at 16°C. Within 2 wk after transfer from 8°C to 16°C RZT, concentrations of P, S, Cu, Zn, and Mn in shoots and roots increased significantly. Increasing Ca levels in solution significantly increased shoot and root concentrations and unit absorption rates of P and Cu. In contrast, increasing Ca levels significantly decreased concentrations and unit absorption rates of Mn and Zn. Thus, a suboptimal RZT could depress accumulation of P, S, Cu, Zn, and Mn by winter wheat forage, and possibly induce mineral deficiencies in both plants and grazing animals. A high solution Ca level could partially ameliorate this adverse effect on P and Cu accumulation by wheat, but it also could exacerbate the problem of low Mn and Zn concentrations at a cool RZT.
Represents part of a thesis presented by the senior author in partial fulfillment of the Ph.D. requirements. Contribution from the USDA-ARS U.S. Plant, Soil & Nutrition Lab., Tower Rd., Ithaca, NY, in cooperation with the Cornell Univ. Agric. Exp. Stn., Ithaca. Journal Series no. 4254, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu. This work was part of the program of the Ctr. for Root Soil Res., Ithaca, NY.