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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 26 No. 1, p. 58-62
    Received: Feb 2, 1961
    Accepted: July 7, 1961

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Root Competition for Fertilizer Phosphorus as Affected by Intercropping1

  1. T. M. Lai and
  2. K. Lawton2



P32-tagged solid fertilizer and phosphoric acid were used to evaluate root competition for P between several groups of interplanted row crops in the greenhouse. The pattern of fertilizer P uptake was determined for each crop during its growth by placing radioactive fertilizer in bands at different depths and distances from the crop rows.

For the corn-field bean system, corn competed more vigorously for labelled P. Other interplanted systems included corn-sesame, corn-castor bean, and castor beansesame, in which corn was the most effective feeder of fertilizer P. Corn roots penetrated the less extensive root systems of beans and sesame to obtain P from fertilizer banded close to the latter crops. In contrast, there was little cross feeding between adjacent bean or sesame rows for similarly placed P.

The corn plant intercropped with sesame absorbed more fertilizer P than when associated with castor beans. Conversely, the sesame plant showed higher uptake of P32-labelled phosphate when it was interplanted with castor beans than with corn.

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