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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Diagnosing Nutritional Status of Containerized Tree Seedlings: Comparative Plant Analyses1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 51 No. 4, p. 1082-1086
    Received: May 27, 1986

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  1. V. R. Timmer and
  2. G. Armstrong2



Containerized red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.) seedlings were fertilized to test the effectiveness of three approaches (critical levels, optimal ratios, and vector analysis) to diagnose seedling nutrient status. Treatments involved a balanced nutrient solution and six imbalanced solutions lacking (−) or enriched (+) with N, P, or K applied to seedlings raised in peat-filled paperpots. Growth was significantly reduced by -N, -P, and +N treatments indicating N and P deficiencies and N toxicity, respectively, and probable sufficiency or luxury consumption of P or K for the other treatments. Diagnosis by vector analysis agreed closely with actual growth and nutritional responses to treatments, and was more precise than the other approaches. Vector analysis was independent of predetermined standards or critical values, and improved identification of dilution effects and nutrient interactions which tend to complicate conventional diagnostic techniques.

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