Influence of Base Saturation and Calcium Levels on Yield and Mineral Content of Alfalfa1
- M. D. Dawson2
A greenhouse investigation was carried out on four pedologically contrasting soils. The soils were limed to different base saturation levels. Yield and mineral composition were determined for the alfalfa grown on these soils.
Soil pH readings at the same base saturation levels varied considerably on the different soils. The pattern of alfalfa response to lime also varied. On the Brown Latosol optimum growth was obtained at 40% base saturation while the other three soils gave optimum growth at either 80 or 100% base saturation. The yield response was attributed to either the direct or indirect effects of lime. Concurrently a split-root experiment was conducted to study the effects of additional calcium supplied to an isolated section of alfalfa roots at each base saturation level. Additional calcium supplied to isolated root sections independent of the soil increased alfalfa yield significantly on two soils. The addition of calcium to the roots also decreased the manganese content of the foliage.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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