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Nitrate: Ammonium ratio affects growth and development of Oxalis regnellii in hydroponic culture

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Nitrogen (N)-source ratio (NO3 -:NH4 +) effects on growth and development of oxalis have not been investigated previously. An experiment was conducted to establish an optimum NO3 -:NH4 + ratio for oxalis in a hydroponic system. Five NO3 --N:NH4 +-N ratio treatments consisting of 100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75, and 0:100 were tested. Increasing proportions of NO3 --N increased total leaf, root, flower, and bottom shoot biomasses. New rhizome biomass increased with increasing NO3 --N rates until 50 and 75%, after which, new rhizome biomass decreased. Plants that received increasing amounts of NO3 --N were greener or had a greater chlorophyll index at the end of the experiment.On a dry weight basis, N, B, Fe, and Al concentrations decreased as NO3 --N levels increased, whereas K, Ca, and Mn concentrations increased. Tissue P, Mo, and Cu increased with increasing NO3 --N levels up to 50% NO3 --N supplied, and then decreased. No significant relationship was found with NO3 -: NH4 + ratios for Mg, Zn, and Na.

Affiliations: 1: Dept. of Horticulture, Plant Science Building, Cornell University ; 2: Dept. of Horticulture, Plant Science Building, Cornell University ; 3: Dept. of Horticulture, Plant Science Building, Cornell University, Ithaca NY 14853


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