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The significance of root growth on cotton nutrition in an acidic low-P soil

Ciro A. Rosolem, João P.T. Witacker, Silvelena Vanzolini and Valdir J. Ramos
Plant and Soil
Vol. 212, No. 2 (1999), pp. 185-190
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42949689
Page Count: 6
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The significance of root growth on cotton nutrition in an acidic low-P soil
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Abstract

Toxic levels of Al and low availability of Ca have been shown to decrease root growth, which can also be affected by P availability. In the current experiment, initial plant growth and nutrition of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum var. Latifolia) were studied as related to its root growth in response to phosphorus and lime application. The experiment was conducted in Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil, in pots containing a Dark Red Latosol (Acrortox, 20% clay, 72% sand). Lime was applied at 0.56, 1.12 and 1.68 g kg⁻¹ and phosphorus was applied at 50, 100 and 150 mg kg⁻¹. Two cotton (cv. IAC 22) plants were grown per pot for up to 42 days after plant emergence. There was no effect of liming on shoot dry weight, root dry matter yield, root surface and length, but root diameter was decreased with the increase in soil Ca. Shoot dry weight, as well as root length, surface and dry weight were increased with soil P levels up to 83 mg kg⁻¹. Phosphorus concentration in the shoots was increased from 1.6 to 3.0 g kg⁻¹ when soil P was increased from 14 to 34 mg kg⁻¹. No further increases in P concentration were observed with higher P rates. The shoot/root ratio was also increased with P application as well as the amount of nutrients absorbed per unit of root surface. In low soil P soils the transport of the nutrient to the cotton root surface limits P uptake. In this case an increase in root growth rate due to P fertilisation does not compensate for the low P diffusion in the soil.

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