Study of Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition of Proteas Cultivated under Subtropical Conditions

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [Temple University Libraries]On: 23 November 2014, At: 18:59Publisher: Taylor &amp; FrancisInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH,UK</p><p>Communications in Soil Scienceand Plant AnalysisPublication details, including instructions forauthors and subscription information:</p><p>Study of Soil Fertility and PlantNutrition of Proteas Cultivatedunder Subtropical ConditionsMercedes Hernndez a , Marino FernndezFalcn a</p><p>&amp; Carlos E. Alvarez aa Departamento de Agrobiologa y Medio Ambiente ,Instituto de Productos Naturales y Agrobiologa CSIC , La Laguna, Tenerife, SpainPublished online: 26 Aug 2008.</p><p>To cite this article: Mercedes Hernndez , Marino FernndezFalcn &amp; Carlos E.Alvarez (2008) Study of Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition of Proteas Cultivated underSubtropical Conditions, Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 39:13-14,2146-2168, DOI: 10.1080/00103620802135427</p><p>To link to this article:</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all theinformation (the Content) contained in the publications on our platform.However, Taylor &amp; Francis, our agents, and our licensors make norepresentations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness,or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and viewsexpressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, andare not the views of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of theContent should not be relied upon and should be independently verified withprimary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for anylosses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages,and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or</p><p></p></li><li><p>indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of theContent.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes.Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan,sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone isexpressly forbidden. Terms &amp; Conditions of access and use can be found at</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Tem</p><p>ple </p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity L</p><p>ibra</p><p>ries</p><p>] at</p><p> 18:</p><p>59 2</p><p>3 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p><p></p></li><li><p>Study of Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition of ProteasCultivated under Subtropical Conditions</p><p>Mercedes Hernandez, Marino Fernandez-Falcon, and Carlos E. Alvarez</p><p>Departamento de Agrobiologa y Medio Ambiente, Instituto de Productos</p><p>Naturales y Agrobiologa CSIC, La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain</p><p>Abstract: A study of soil physicochemical characteristics and mineral nutrition of</p><p>four cultivars of Leucospermum cordifolium (Scarlett Ribbon, High Gold,</p><p>Veldifre, Sunrise) and Leucospermum patersonii species was carried out along 2</p><p>years in commercial protea plantations, distributed throughout a subtropical</p><p>region (La Palma Island, Canarian Archipelago). Soils presented a slightly acid</p><p>pH range, whereas organic matter showed suitable values. Generally, available</p><p>soil phosphorus (P) contents were less than 25 mg kg21, with high available</p><p>potassium (K) and calcium (Ca) levels, though the ratio of Ca of the sum of</p><p>available cations was usually appropriate. Despite the high electrical conductivity</p><p>(EC) levels (4.318.87 dS m21) determined in some soils, no salinity symptoms</p><p>were ever detected. Distribution and behavior of foliar nutrients nitrogen (N), P,</p><p>K, Ca, magnesium (Mg), and sodium (Na) along time showed that nutritional</p><p>needs varied in some cases among cultivars and species. L. patersonii presented</p><p>the least N concentration, whereas High Gold and Veldfire had the greatest</p><p>levels. Data denoted that P requirements were larger in younger plants, during the</p><p>recovery after pruning, and while new buds developed. Sunrise cultivar stood</p><p>out for its large foliar levels of P, whereas Scarlett Ribbon and Veldfire had the</p><p>least K contents. As a general pattern, K decreased in winter samplings. L.</p><p>patersonii species and the cultivar Sunrise exhibited the highest Ca values, and</p><p>the same was true for Mg only in the species. A special need for Na appeared in</p><p>all the cultivars and species studied. L. patersonii and the cultivar Sunrise</p><p>showed the greatest Na levels. A general stabilization of nutrient concentrations</p><p>Received 27 February 2007, Accepted 22 October 2007</p><p>Address correspondence to Carlos E. Alvarez, Departamento de Agrobiologa</p><p>y Medio Ambiente, Instituto de Productos Naturales y Agrobiologa CSIC,</p><p>Apartado de correos, s/n, 38200 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain. E-mail: carlose@</p><p></p><p>Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 39: 21462168, 2008</p><p>Copyright # Taylor &amp; Francis Group, LLCISSN 0010-3624 print/1532-2416 online</p><p>DOI: 10.1080/00103620802135427</p><p>2146</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Tem</p><p>ple </p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity L</p><p>ibra</p><p>ries</p><p>] at</p><p> 18:</p><p>59 2</p><p>3 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>was observed in the fourth, fifth, and/or sixth samplings, so that November is</p><p>recommended for taking samples for current foliar analysis. In this context, foliar</p><p>ranges for the studied nutrients are suggested.</p><p>Keywords: Nutrient foliar ranges, nutrition, protea, sampling time, soil fertility</p><p>INTRODUCTION</p><p>Proteas grow normally on leached, acidic soils, which are poor in availableminerals (Thomas 1974; Meynhardt 1976; Silber, Neumann, and Ben-</p><p>Jaacov 1998). Soil texture plays an important role in protea development.</p><p>Vogts (1979) and Claassens (1981) indicated that clay soils should be</p><p>avoided, because they tend to become waterlogged as a result of their low</p><p>permeability. Montarone (2001) stressed that the preferred soils for these</p><p>crops are sandy with less than 20 g kg21 clay and less than 40 g kg21 silt.</p><p>Regarding pH, Thomas (1974) reported that many protea plants</p><p>prefer acid soils. On the other hand, Claassens (1981) stated that manyprotea cultivars prosper on a wide pH range, with most species growing</p><p>well between 5.5 and 7.0. This author also reported that proteas are</p><p>occasionally found on calcareous soils with a considerably higher pH.</p><p>Silber, Mitchnick, and Ben-Jaacov (2001) stressed that pH affects root</p><p>development and indirectly affects nutrient availability and ion uptake.</p><p>As far as organic matter is concerned, Witkowski (1989) reported</p><p>levels around 8.7 mg kg21, both in the field and in greenhouses, lowerthan the normal levels of horticultural crops (Maier and Robinson 1996).</p><p>The requirements of phosphorus (P) differs depending on species and</p><p>genera of family Proteaceae (Thomas 1980; Handreck 1991; Montarone</p><p>and Ziegler 1996), as well as their sensitivity to high P concentration in</p><p>the soil (Buining and Cresswell 1993). Phosphorus concentration in the</p><p>rhizosphere affects development of the root system (Silber, Neumann, and</p><p>Ben-Jaacov 1998), involving the formation of proteoid roots that, inaccordance with Jeffrey (1967), is the response of the plant to the low level</p><p>of P. Contrarily, Lamont (1972) reported that an increase in P nutrition is</p><p>accompanied by an increase in the production of proteoid roots. Toxicity</p><p>symptoms, such as growth reduction and leaf necrosis in the presence of</p><p>high P concentration, have been described in numerous plants of the</p><p>Proteaceae (Goodwin 1983; Prasad and Dennis 1986). Nichols (1983)</p><p>classified Leucospermum cordifolium as highly susceptible to P, indicating</p><p>toxicity values based on concentrations of available P greater than 15 mgkg21, although Parvin (1986) gave values of up to 25 mg kg21. In Israel,</p><p>protea cultivation has been restricted to soils with less than 15 mg kg21 of P</p><p>(Silber, Neumann, and Ben-Jaacov 1998). Jamienson (1985) recommended</p><p>a maximum level of P of 30 mg kg21 for proteas, with the exception of</p><p>Soil Fertility and Nutrition of Proteas 2147</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Tem</p><p>ple </p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity L</p><p>ibra</p><p>ries</p><p>] at</p><p> 18:</p><p>59 2</p><p>3 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>Leucadendron Safari Sunset, which can withstand concentrations up to</p><p>45 mg kg21. However, Maier et al. (1995) found that large concentrations</p><p>of P (up to 64 mg kg21) could not be related to low production.</p><p>Usually proteas are tolerant to low N levels in soils (Van Standen</p><p>1967), and some species prefer ammonia (NH3)nitrogen (N) (Claassens</p><p>1986). As far as available cations are concerned, Jamienson (1985)</p><p>recommended soil calcium (Ca) values less than 6.2 cmol kg21 and</p><p>potassium (K) levels less than 1.0 cmol kg21, whereas concentrations of</p><p>magnesium (Mg) should be less than 1.2 cmol kg21. Parvin (1986)</p><p>reported K values between 1.4 and 2.5 cmol kg21 for Banksia, 1.2 cmol/</p><p>kg for Leucospermum, and between 0.9 and 2.7 cmol kg21 for Protea. In</p><p>this regard, Cecil et al. (1995) and Maier et al. (1995) confirmed small K</p><p>requirements for optimum growth of protea plants.</p><p>As far as salts are concerned, Vogts (1982) considered proteas to be</p><p>glycophytic (salt-sensitive) because protea plants absorb salts to a</p><p>harmful degree. In contrast, Walters, Jooste, and Raitt (1991) stated</p><p>that several species thrive in soils with similar sodium (Na) contents to</p><p>those observed in halophytic (salt-tolerant) plants. Claassens (1981)</p><p>suggested that many species of proteas can tolerate relatively high salt</p><p>concentrations, providing that the levels of nutrients such as nitrates and</p><p>phosphates are not overly great. Rodrguez Perez, Fernandez Falcon, and</p><p>Socorro Monzon (2000) reported that Protea obtusifolia is moderately</p><p>tolerant to salts, indicating that the thresholds for electrical conductivity</p><p>of irrigation water and saturated soil extract for dry-matter production</p><p>were 2.7 and 6.0 dS m21, respectively, and that Leucospermum</p><p>cordifolium can be considered to be moderately sensitive to salinity,</p><p>establishing thresholds in this regard at 1.5 and 1.9 dS m21 (Rodrguez</p><p>Perez, Fernandez Falcon, and Socorro Monzon 2001).</p><p>Large differences in nutrient content between genera as well as</p><p>between cultivars and species within genera have been reported (Classens</p><p>1986; Montarone 2001). Montarone et al. (2003) studied the nutritional</p><p>requirements of the genera Protea and Leucospermum and found that the</p><p>genus Leucospermum absorbs twice as many minerals as the genus</p><p>Protea. High Gold and Succession cultivars demanded much K, with a</p><p>K/N ratio of 1.6, whereas in Protea this ratio was near to 1. The genus</p><p>Leucospermum, and specifically L. candicans, withstands greater P levels</p><p>than genera Banksia, Leucadendron, Protea, and Telopea (Thomas 1980).</p><p>On the other hand, several authors have reported P toxicities (Nichols</p><p>1983; Prasad and Dennis 1986). Prasad and Dennis (1986) and</p><p>Montarone (2001) have emphasized the limited information that exists</p><p>on nutrition requirements of these plants.</p><p>The development of this culture in a subtropical region (La Palma</p><p>Island, Canarian Archipelago) is mainly based on the genus</p><p>Leucospermum. Among them, L. cordifolium (Scarlett Ribbon, High</p><p>2148 M. Hernandez et al.</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Tem</p><p>ple </p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity L</p><p>ibra</p><p>ries</p><p>] at</p><p> 18:</p><p>59 2</p><p>3 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>Gold, Veldifre, Sunrise) and the species L. patersonii are some of the</p><p>most promising. The objective of this article is to study macronutrient</p><p>distribution in soils and leaves of those cultivars and species along time,</p><p>grown in commercial plantations, as well as to suggest foliar ranges and</p><p>sampling time for the studied nutrients.</p><p>MATERIALS AND METHODS</p><p>The study of the cultivars Scarlett Ribbon, High Gold, Veldfire, and</p><p>Sunrise of Leucospermum cordifolium, and of the species L. patersonii,</p><p>was carried out in commercial plantations located in eight municipalities</p><p>of La Palma (Canary Islands), distributed around the island. Soils were</p><p>Inceptisols Andepts and an Ultisol Udult.</p><p>Soil Sampling and Analysis</p><p>Soil samples were collected in May and November, 2002 and 2003, at a</p><p>depth of 0 to 20 cm with an Eijkelkamp soil sampler. These sample times</p><p>coincided with the vegetative growth period beginning after pruning and</p><p>the beginning of blossom. Three replications were taken from every farm</p><p>sampled, each one consisting of a composite sample of five subsamples.</p><p>The samples were air dried and passed through a 2-mm mesh. The pH</p><p>was measured in water in a ratio of 2:5, shaken, and allowed to settle for</p><p>10 min. Organic matter was determined by the Walkley and Black</p><p>method as modified by the Comision de Metodos Analticos del Instituto</p><p>de Edafologa y Agrobiologa Jose M. Albareda (1973).</p><p>Available cations were extracted with an ammonium acetate 1 M</p><p>solution at pH 7 and determined by inductively coupled plasma (ICP;</p><p>Perkin-Elmer, Waltham, Mass.). Available phosphorus (P) was extracted</p><p>by the Olsen et al. (1954) method and determined by the Watanabe and</p><p>Olsen (1965) method.</p><p>Electrical conductivity (EC) was measured in the saturated soil</p><p>extract, and texture was determined by the Bouyoucos method (Lopez</p><p>and Lopez 1990).</p><p>Plant Samplings and Analysis</p><p>Five foliar samplings were carried out along the cultivation cycle (12</p><p>months long) during 2 years. The first one was in May 2003, which</p><p>coincided with the beginning of the vegetative growth period of the plants (2</p><p>months after pruning). The sampled leaves were the last fully developed</p><p>Soil Fertility and Nutrition of Proteas 2149</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Tem</p><p>ple </p><p>Uni</p><p>vers</p><p>ity L</p><p>ibra</p><p>ries</p><p>] at</p><p> 18:</p><p>59 2</p><p>3 N</p><p>ovem</p><p>ber </p><p>2014</p></li><li><p>ones (Jones, Wolf, and Mills 1991), which usually matched with the fourth</p><p>or fifth leaf counting from the apex. Three replications were taken from</p><p>every cultivar and species in each plantation. Each replication consisted of a</p><p>composite sample of leaves from 15 plants that were chosen at random.</p><p>The samples were washed in distilled water and dried in an oven at 80 uC,after which they were ground to powder. One gram of the powder was ashed</p><p>in an oven at 480 uC and then mineralized by dry ashing with 6 M hydrochloricacid (Chapman and Pratt 1961). The levels of Ca, Mg, Na, and K cations were</p><p>determined by ICP. Phosphorous was determined by colorimetry according to</p><p>the vanadatemolybdate method (Chapman and Pratt 1961). Nitrogen was</p><p>determined by the Kjeldahl method (Cottenie 1980).</p><p>Statistical Analysis</p><p>Data were subjected to one-way variance analysis, correlation, linear</p><p>regression, time series analysis, and chi-square test by Statgraphics Sgwin</p><p>4.0 software (Statgraphics, 1999). Foliar reference levels consisted of a</p><p>range determined by adding and subtracting the standard deviation to the</p><p>mean of each nutrient concentration.</p><p>RESULTS AND DISCUSSION</p><p>Soils</p><p>Data of the physical analysis of soils are shown in Table 1, and the</p><p>chemical properties are reported in Tables 2 to 7.</p><p>Texture</p><p>Several plantations had compensated soil texture (sandy clay loam), but</p><p>some soils showed high clay contents (Table 1) that are not recommended</p><p>for prot...</p></li></ul>