Studies of Clay Skins in a Cecil (Typic Hapludult) Soil: II. Effect on Plant Growth and Nutrient Uptake1
- E. M. Khalifa and
- S. W. Buol2
A greenhouse experiment was conducted to study the effect clay skins may have on plant growth and N, P, and K uptake. Wheat (Triticum vulgare, var. Wakeland) plants were grown in uncoated aggregates and in large and small clay skin-coated peds from the B22t horizon of a Cecil (Typic Hapludult) soil for 4 weeks. Data obtained for dry weight and total N, P, and K content of the plants were statistically analyzed. Plants grown in the uncoated aggregates had higher dry weights and more total N, P, and K than those grown in either the large or small coated peds. Most of the plant roots grew outside of the coated peds with a concentration of fine roots on the surface of the clay skin. It is hypothesized that the clay skins reduced plant growth and nutrient uptake (especially P and K) either by serving as a barrier for root growth and/or by slowing ion diffusion from the soil peds into the inter-ped soil solution.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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