Plant and Soil

, Volume 145, Issue 1, pp 65–70 | Cite as

Inability to solubilize phosphate in limestone soils—key factor controlling calcifuge habit of plants

  • G. Tyler


Germination, seedling establishment and growth of calcifuge plants in Swedish limestone soils of Archean and Ordovician age were studied. As previously demonstrated for Viscaria vulgaris, establishment of Rumex acetosella and Silene rupestris did not succeed unless CaHPO4 (at the rate of 10 mmol dm-3 of soil) was supplied. Growth of Deschampsia flexuosa was enhanced by phosphate addition, whereas establishment success of Jasione montana was poor, regardless of phosphate treatment. Establishment and growth in an acidic gneiss soil, used as a reference for the species studied, was good. Total, total inorganic, exchangeable, and soil solution P were considered in all soils and treatments. It is proposed that the calcifuge behaviour of plants is quite often caused by inability to solubilize the native phosphate of limestone soils.

Key words

calcifuge plants phosphorus deficient absorption Deschampsia flexuosa Jasione montana Rumex acetosella Silene rupestris 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Tyler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology, Soil Ecology GroupUniversity of LundLundSweden

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