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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Interaction of Potassium in the Availability and Uptake of Iron From Ferric Hydroxide1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 38 No. 3, p. 451-454
    Received: Sept 26, 1973
    Accepted: Feb 19, 1974

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  1. J. J. Oertli and
  2. A. A. Opoku2



The uptake of iron from ferric hydroxic by corn plants (Zea mays L.) was stimulated by the presence of increasing levels of potassium sulfate. Potassium nitrate had a much smaller effect. During the 48-hour absorption experiments, the pH of the SO4 solution dropped from 9.2 to nearly 4, while that of the NO3 solution dropped only from 8.4 to between 6.5 and 6.8. The different behavior of the two solutions must be due to different imbalances of cation and anion uptake. Nitrate is taken up at a rate similar to that of K, which is faster than that of SO4. Thus NO3 causes a smaller decline of the pH. Reduced pH has a favorable effect on Fe solubility. The phenomenon was also observed (i) in CaCO3-buffered solutions, in which case the pH drop in the root boundary zone may have been important and different from that in the buffered bulk solutions, and (ii) when Fe was present together with a synthetic cation exchanger.

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