, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 93-115

Nutritional characteristics of the leaves of native plants growing in adverse soils of humid tropical lowlands

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Acid sulfate, peat, sandy podzolic, and saline soils are widely distributed inthe lowlands of Thailand and Malaysia. The nutrient concentrations in theleaves of plants grown in these type of soils were studied with the aim ofdeveloping a nutritional strategy for adapting to such problem soils. In sagoand oil palms that were well-adapted to peat soil, the N, P, and Kconcentrations were the same in the mature leaves, while the Ca, Mg, Na,and Fe concentrations were higher in the mature leaves of the oil palm thanof the sago palm. Melastoma malabathricum and Melaleuca cajuputi plantsthat were well-adapted to low pH soils, peat, and acid sulfate soils were alsostudied. It was observed that a high amount of Al accumulated in the M.marabathricum leaves, while Al did not accumulate in M. cajuputi leaves.M. cajuputi plants accumulated large amounts of Na in their leaves or stemsregardless of the exchangeable Na concentration in the soil, while M.malabathricum that was growing in saline-affected soils excluded Na.Positive relationships between macronutrients were recognized between Pand N, between K and N, and between P and K. Al showed antagonisticrelationships with P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Cu, and Na. Na also showedantagonistic relationships with P, K, Zn, Mn, Cu, and Al. Fe showed weakantagonistic relationships with Zn, Mn, Cu, and Al.