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    Author(s): Mark D. Coleman; Richard E. Dickson; J.G. Isebrands
    Date: 1998
    Source: Physiologia Plantarum 103: 513-526. 1998
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (640 KB)


    Variable internal plant nutrient content may confound plant response to environmental stress. Plant nutrient content may be controlled with relative addition rate techniques in solution culture. However, because raising large numbers of plants in flowing solution culture is difficult. we investieated the feasibility of raisine plants in soil mix using relative fertilizer additions. Aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) clones (216, 259 and 271) planted in pots containing a peat, sand and vermiculite (2:1:1, v/v/v) soil mix were grown with exponentially increasing fertilizer concentrations and harvested periodically to assess growth. Addition rate treatments ranged from 0.01 to 0.05 day-1. The lag phase of growth, in which plants adjusted to the fertilizer regime, lasted 40 days after-which piants entered the experimental period characterized by constant relative growth rates equivalent to applied fertilizer addition rates. Total plant nutrient concentration was (1) unique for each addition rate, (2) linearly related to addition rate and growth rate, and (3) tended to increase at the highest, and decrease at the lowest addition rates. Regardless, the plants appeared to have attained steady-state conditions. Allocation of carbon to roots increased with lower addition rate treatments and was not dependent upon ontogeny. There were no treatment differences in growth response among aspen clones. Yet there were treatment differences in leaf chlorophyll and photosynthesis within the clones. For the 0.05 day-1 addition rate treatment. chlorophyll. leaf N concentration and photosynthefic rate were strongly correlated with one another, were at a maximum in recently mature leaves, and rapidly declined with leaf age. The rate of decline in these leaf characteristics was slowest in clone 271, consistent with the leaf longevity stress response reported elsewhere. Plant responses from these relative fertilizer addition trials in soil mix agree closely with those run in hydroponics, indicating that steady-state nutrition can be achieved with a technically simple experimental assemblage.

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    Coleman, Mark D.; Dickson, Richard E.; Isebrands, J.G. 1998. Growth and physiology of aspen supplied with different fertilizer addition rates. Physiologia Plantarum 103: 513-526. 1998


    Allometry, aspen, chlorophyll, nitrogen, photosynthesis, plant growth analysis, Populus tremuloides, steady-state nutrition

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