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Uptake of phosphorus and potassium in relation to root growth and root density

Summary

This paper provides some quantitative data on the relationship between the rate of uptake of phosphorus and potassium from soil and the amount of root, root density and rate of root growth. Three experiments were conducted with winter wheat, all grown in the same soil. Root growth and density were manipulated in three ways: (1) by root pruning; (2) by a split-root technique; (3) by growing plants in different soil volumes. Root lengths as well as weights were determined.

Potassium uptake per unit amount of root was generally lower the higher the root density, suggesting that roots were competing with each other for potassium even at the lowest density. In contrast, phosphorus uptake showed a good correlation with root growth irrespective of root density or plant age. Phosphorus uptake during a period was more closely and consistently correlated with root growth during that period than with the total amount of root on the plant. The results can be explained in terms of ion supply to the root surface, taking into account the diffusion coefficients of the ions and the approximate distances between neighbouring roots.

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Now Mrs. Watkins; address 39 Leach Heath Lane, Rubery, Birmingham.

Now Mrs. Watkins; address 39 Leach Heath Lane, Rubery, Birmingham.

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Newman, E.I., Andrews, R.E. Uptake of phosphorus and potassium in relation to root growth and root density. Plant Soil 38, 49–69 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00011217

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00011217

Keywords

  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Diffusion Coefficient
  • Plant Physiology
  • Root Growth