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Comparative chlorine requirements of different plant species

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Recognition of chlorine as a plant micronutrient has been extended to include ten species. Acute chlorine deficiencies or decreased yields were produced with lettuce, tomato, cabbage, carrot, sugar beet, barley, alfalfa, buckwheat, corn, and beans. Squash plants showed neither loss in yield nor other deficiency symptoms when cultured at the same time and under the same conditions as the aforementioned species. All plants acquired more chlorine during their growth than can be accounted for from seeds, inorganic salts, or water used in the experiments. Plant species least susceptible to injury when cultured upon low chlorine salt solutions were also the ones most capable of acquiring extrinsic chlorine. Of the species studied, lettuce was the most sensitive to “minus chlorine” culture solutions and squash, the least sensitive. However, the concentration of chlorine in all of the species cultured under limited chlorine supply was not greatly different. It is inferred that plants such as corn, beans, and squash survived the “minus chlorine” cultures by reason of greater accretion of extrinsic chlorine from the atmosphere. The form of the atmospherically borne chlorine is not known.

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Johnson, C.M., Stout, P.R., Broyer, T.C. et al. Comparative chlorine requirements of different plant species. Plant Soil 8, 337–353 (1957).

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