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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

A Culturing Unit to Evaluate Sodic Influence on Calcium Nutrition of Alfalfa1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 4, p. 470-472
    Received: Oct 28, 1965
    Accepted: Mar 29, 1966

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  1. H. I. Nightingale and
  2. R. L. Smith2



A culturing unit was constructed whereby the influence of exchangeabe sodium on the growth and mineral uptake of established alfalfa (Medicago sativa) could be determined. Two compartments, separated by a membrane through which roots could penetrate, were placed one above another. The top compartment contained a calcareous nonsodic soil to which Ca45CO3 was added. The lower compartment contained complete nutrient solution.

Following the establishment of the plants in the nonsodic soil and complete nutrient solution, four levels of exchangeable Na percentage, 0.9, 14.9, 35.4, and 54.9, were established by adding solutions of Na2CO3 to the soil. The yield and Ca content of leaves was reduced by the sodic influence even though sufficient Ca was available to the plant through the nutrient solution. This decreased Ca uptake was compensated for by greater uptake of Mg.

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