Plant and Soil

, Volume 105, Issue 2, pp 213–222 | Cite as

Effects of kelp (Macrocystis integrifolia) on soil chemical properties and crop response

  • W. D. Temple
  • A. A. Bomke


In 1981 a two-year field plot experiment was established to assess the effects of quantities (0, 7.5, 15, 30, 60 and 120 t ha−1) of fresh kelp (Macrocystis integrifolia) on crop growth and nutritional response and chemical properties of a fine-textured soil. Soil was analyzed for NO3−N, NH4−N, electrical conductivity, pH, Cl and exchangeable cations (K, Mg, Ca, Mn and Na). The plots were planted to beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) in the first year and peas (Pisum sativum) in the second year. Marketable bean yields increased in the first year with kelp applications up to 60 t ha−1, with yields, emergence and flowering being reduced by the 120 t ha−1 application. Soluble salts (EC) and Cl concentrations in the soil eight days after application increased linearly and sharply with increasing quantities of kelp. Increased K concentration and moisture content, characteristics of plants growing in a salt-stressed soil environment, were measured. A subsequent companion greenhouse experiment confirmed that the reduced bean emergence and growth with 120 t ha−1 applications of kelp were primarily due to soluble salts. The only growth effects upon peas in the second year was a slight reduction in leaf plus stem yields with increasing applications of kelp.

Key words

mineral nutrition Phaseolus vulgaris Pisum sativum salt stress seaweed soil organic amendment 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. D. Temple
    • 1
  • A. A. Bomke
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Soil ScienceUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverB.C.Canada

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