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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

A Comparison of Tree Responses to Fertilizers in Field and Pot Experiments1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 35 No. 2, p. 346-349
    Received: Sept 8, 1970
    Accepted: Dec 11, 1970

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  1. D. J. Mead and
  2. W. L. Pritchett2



Eight uniform fertilizer experiments with Pinus elliottii Engelm. were established in the field between 1959–1962 on six soils ranging from excessively drained fine sands to poorly drained sandy loams. Soils from these experiments were used in pot tests, following similar treatments. Seedlings were grown for 8 months. No single measure of seedling response to treatments (height, diameter at soil surface, dry weight of tops, total dry weight) consistently correlated with field responses, expressed in terms of average tree height. There were large differences between field and greenhouse experiments in both type and degree of response obtained from the various soils. The best correlation (r = 0.66) was between seedling total dry weight and tree height at age 7. Height of greenhouse seedlings was the poorest method of those tested for predicting field response. All results from pot experiments were more poorly correlated with tree heights in the field after 3 years than after 7 years. The role of greenhouse experiments in studying deficiency symptoms and as a diagnostic tool for determining limiting nutrients is well recognized, but results must be used with caution for predicting magnitude of fertilizer response in the field.

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