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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Competition for Nitrogen-15 Depleted Ammonium Nitrate and Nitrogen Fixation in Arrowleaf Clover-Gulf Ryegrass Mixtures1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 51 No. 1, p. 115-119
    Received: Dec 19, 1985

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  1. D. R. Morris and
  2. R. W. Weaver2



‘Yuchi’ arrowleaf clover (Trifolium vesiculosum Savi) and ‘gulf’ ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam) are commonly grown together but their competitive relationship for fertilizer N has not been determined. Two greenhouse experiments were conducted to examine this relationship and to determine the effects on biological N2 fixation. Seeds were sown in a Norwood soil (fine-silty, mixed [calcareus], thermic Typic Utifluvent) that was mixed with vermiculite (Exp. I) or sand (Exp. II). Nitrogen was applied at different rates during the seedling stage to plants sown in pure and mixed stands. In Exp. I, plants were grown for 8 weeks. In Exp. II, plants were grown for 20 weeks and three clippings were taken. The N source was 99% 15N depleted NH4NO3. Ryegrass in mixed stand accumulated several times more fertilizer N than its clover component. But clover in pure stand accumulated similar quantities of fertilizer N as the ryegrass in pure stand. The percentage of total N2 fixed in the clover was usually decreased with increasing fertilizer N rates due to increased fertilizer N uptake. Total N in the clover from N2 fixation was often not significantly altered with increasing fertilizer N rates which indicates that fixed N was complimenting the N taken up from the fertilizer.

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