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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Response of Bitterbrush Seedlings to Nitrogen and Moisture on a Granitic Soil1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 6, p. 962-966
    Received: Apr 14, 1969
    Accepted: Aug 13, 1969

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  1. J. O. Klemmedson and
  2. R. B. Ferguson2



Greenhouse studies were conducted to explore the influence of nitrogen and moisture on seedlings of bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata [Pursh] DC.), when grown in soil from three different layers. Seedlings were grown in pots in granitic soil collected from 0–15-, 15–40-, and 40–90-cm soil layers with three nitrogen (N) treatments (0, 34, and 100 kg/ha) and low and high moisture regimes. Shoot and root weights of seedlings grown in surface soils without added N greatly exceeded those for seedlings grown in soil from lower layers. Added N caused seedling yields to decline on surface soils but to increase on the 40–90-cm soil layer. Maintenance of a high moisture regime diminished the adverse effects of added N on seedlings grown in soil from the surface layer, but improved its effectiveness on seedlings grown in lower layer soils. Shoot-root ratios and efficiency of water use by bitterbrush differed with respect to N and soil layer treatments. In subsequent experiments, six granitic soils (including the previously tested soil) proved deficient in N for barley. However, on the same soils, bitter-brush responded negatively or gave no response to added N. The experiments showed that yields of bitterbrush declined when N in plants reached about 2.0%.

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