Plant and Soil

, Volume 328, Issue 1–2, pp 83–93 | Cite as

Ability of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) to take up potassium from different micaceous minerals and consequent vermiculitization

  • Samira Norouzi
  • Hossein KhademiEmail author
Regular Article


Nonexchangeable soil K trapped between interlayers of clay minerals is an important source of K for plants grown on many soils. In this study, the ability of alfalfa, as the most important forage crop worldwide, to take up K from some micaceous minerals and to promote the transformation of micaceous minerals were investigated. Alfalfa was cultivated in pots that consisted of a mixture of Hamadan quartz sand and Amlash biotite, Hamadan muscovite and Hamadan phlogopite. Plants were irrigated with distilled water and complete or K-free nutrient solutions. After 90 days, K uptake by plants was measured by flame photometer. Also, the clay size particles in each pot were analyzed using x-ray diffraction. It was found that alfalfa was able to induce a significant release of interlayer K during cropping. The amount of K taken up by alfalfa was significantly higher for Hamadan phlogopite. X-ray diffractometry showed a strong vermiculitization of Hamadan phlogopite and Amlash biotite, but no X-ray detectable transformation of muscovite was recognized.


Potassium release Biotite Muscovite Phlogopite Rhizosphere 



We would like to acknowledge Isfahan University of Technology for their financial support for this project. Comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this paper by two anonymous reviewers are greatly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Soil Science, College of AgricultureIsfahan University of TechnologyIsfahanIran

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