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Braunton Burrows: Mineral Nutrient Status of the Dune Soils
A. J. Willis and E. W. Yemm
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 49, No. 2 (Jun., 1961), pp. 377-390
Published by: British Ecological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2257270
Page Count: 14
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1. The mineral nutrient status of three types of dune soil (freshly blown sand, soil of dry dune pasture and of lichen-type pasture) was investigated by means of tomato plants used as indicators. The effects on the growth and composition of turf transplants of the addition of mineral nutrients were also studied. 2. All the soils contained sufficient supplies of minor mineral nutrients (Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, B, Mo) for unrestricted plant growth. There were, however, severe deficiencies of nitrogen and phosphorus, especially in the freshly blown coarse sand; potassium was also in limiting supply. 3. Addition of a solution containing the chief major nutrients to turf transplants under greenhouse conditions resulted in two or three times as much growth as in transplants given purified water only. Important changes in composition of the turf transplants were found; grasses (Agrostis stolonifera, Festuca rubra, Poa pratensis ssp. subcaerulea) became overwhelmingly dominant when nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium were added in adequate amounts. When nitrogen was supplied alone, however, and phosphorus was limiting, Carex flacca increased rather than Agrostis in transplants from damp pasture. 4. The sparse growth and open character of much of the natural vegetation of the Burrows appear to be mainly attributable to the low levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in the soils.
Journal of Ecology © 1961 British Ecological Society