Nitrogen Partitioning of Field-grown `Arapaho' Thornless Blackberry

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  • 1 1Dept. of Horticulture, Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701
  • | 2 2Dept. of Agronomy, Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701

A spring application of 19 g CO(15NH2)2/plant at 2.49% atom percent enrichment was made in Mar. 1995 on 2-year old, field-grown `Arapaho' blackberry plants. Individual plants were harvested during the study at preharvest (late May), postharvest (mid-July), and early dormancy (late October). The following plant parts were separated for analysis: roots, primocanes, floricanes, primocane leaves, floricane leaves, fruits. Soil samples were also taken from within the drip line of the plants at each sample date. Plant tissues were washed, dry weights measured and ground for acid digestion, total N determination and 15N analysis. Samples were measured for 15N atom percent abundance by a isotope ratio spectrometer. The whole-plant dry matter in creased during the season from 53 g in May to 153 g in October. Plants sampled in October had a greater amount of dry matter in roots than in any other tissue. There was a decreased total N content in all vegetative tissues (leaves and canes) from May to October. The maximum fertilizer 15N percent recovery was 43% (October) and the minimum was 12% (May) from the total plant tissues. Compared to other plant tissues, floricane leaves and primocanes recovered significantly more fertilizer 15N in May, while roots and primocane leaves recovered more in October. Floricanes and fruits did not increase in 15N levels during the sampling period. Fertilizer 15N recovered in the soil amounted to 35.5% of the applied with 4.5% found in the inorganic fraction, 31% in the organic fraction. There were no statistical differences in percent recovery of the fertilizer 15N among sample dates in the topsoil. October 15N percent recovery was much lower than May in the subsoil, indicating a downward movement of N by leaching. Averaging all sample dates, 59.5% of the labeled fertilizer was accounted for in the plant and soil, with the remaining portion probably lost via volatilization, leaching, and/or denitrification.

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