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John D. Lea-Cox and James P. Syvertsen

We examined how N supply affected plant growth and N uptake, allocation and leaching losses from a fine sandy soil with four Citrus rootstock species. Seedlings of `Cleopatra' mandarin (Citrus reticulata Blanco) and `Swingle' citrumelo (C. paradisi × P. trifoliata) were grown in a glasshouse in 2.3-liter pots of Candler fine sand and fertilized weekly with a complete nutrient solution containing 200 mg N/liter (20 mg N/week). A single application of 15NH4 15NO3(17.8% atom excess 15N) was substituted for a normal weekly N application when the seedlings were 22 weeks old (day O). Six replicate plants of each species were harvested at 0.5, 1.5, 3.5, 7, 11, and 30 days after 15N application. In a second experiment, NH4 NO3 was supplied at 18,53, and 105 mg N/week to 14-week-old `Volkamer' lemon (C. volkameriana Ten. & Pasq.) and sour orange (C. aurantium L.) seedlings in a complete nutrient solution for 8 weeks. A single application of 15NH4 15NO3 (23.0% 15N) was substituted at 22 weeks (day 0), as in the first experiment, and seedlings harvested 3,7, and 31 days after 15N application. Nitrogen uptake and partitioning were similar among species within each rate, but were strongly influenced by total N supply and the N demand by new growth. There was no 15N retranslocation to new tissue at the highest (105 mg N/week) rate, but N supplies below this rate limited plant growth without short-term 15N reallocation from other tissues. Leaf N concentration increased linearly with N supply up to the highest rate, while leaf chlorophyll concentration did not increase above that at 53 mg N/week. Photosynthetic CO2 assimilation was not limited by N in this study; leaf N concentration exceeded 100 mmol·m-2 in all treatments. Thus, differences in net productivity at the higher N rates appeared to be a function of increased leaf area, but not of leaf N concentration. Hence, N use efficiency decreased significantly over the range of N supply, whether expressed either on a gas-exchange or dry weight basis. Mean plant 15N uptake efficiencies after 31 days decreased from 60% to 47% of the 15N applied at the 18,20, and 53 mg N/week rates to less than 33% at the 105 mg N/week rate. Leaching losses increased with N rate, with plant growth rates and the subsequent N requirements of these Citrus species interacting with residual soil N and potential leaching loss.

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Matthew D. Taylor, Paul V. Nelson and Jonathan M. Frantz

The cause of sudden substrate pH decline by geranium is unknown. Low Fe and low P have been shown to cause many plant species to acidify the substrate. Research was done to determine if low Fe or P stresses caused four geranium (Pelargonium ×hortorum Bailey) cultivars to acidify nutrient solution. Two cultivars were susceptible and two resistant to substrate acidification based on a grower survey. Rooted geranium cuttings were transferred to 4-L containers containing modified Hoagland's solution with N supplied as 15% NH4 and 85% NO3. The plants were grown in a greenhouse for 44 days. Treatments consisted of a complete nutrient solution and two similar solutions devoid of either Fe or P. Solutions pH was set at 5.8, changed weekly, and tested 3 and 6 days after each change. Because all cultivars showed similar responses, results were combined. Twenty days after transplanting (DAT), plants in all treatments, including control, caused solution pH to fall below 5. At 37 DAT, the solution pH levels for control, minus Fe, and minus P treatments were 4.1, 3.7, and 3.6, respectively. Results indicated that geranium is an acidifying plant when N is supplied as 15% NH4 and 85% NO3. Additionally, low Fe and low P stresses increase the acidification rate. Total dry weights of minus-P plants were about half that of minus-Fe plants. This indicated that plants under P stress had a higher specific rate of acidification than plants under Fe stress.

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Kevin R. Kosola* and Rebecca L. Darnell

Cultivated Vaccinium species (e.g. highbush blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum, or cranberry, V. macrocarpon) commonly require acidic soil (pH 4.5 to 5.5) for optimum growth. Under these conditions, ammonium (NH4 +) is the dominant form of inorganic N. In contrast, V. arboreum, the sparkleberry can tolerate higher-pH mineral soils, where nitrate (NO3 -) is typically the predominant inorganic N form. This tolerance may be related to increased ability to acquire and utilize NO3—N. Measurements of 15NO3 - and 15NH4 + influx kinetics in excised roots of V. arboreum, V. corymbosum, and V. macrocarpon did not support this hypothesis. NO3 - influx kinetics measured from 10 micromolar to 200 micromolar NO3 - were similar among all three species. NO3 - influx was consistently lower than NH4 + influx at all concentrations for all three species.

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John D. Lea-Cox and James P. Syvertsen

The objectives of this greenhouse study were to determine the rate of nitrogen (N) uptake over a 30 day period, use efficiency and N partitioning within two citrus rootstock species. Sixteen-week old seedlings of Cleopatra mandarin (C. reticulata Blanco) and Swingle citrumelo (C. paradisi × P. trifoliata) were assigned to treatments (harvest day × rootstock species) in a completely randomized design, grown in a Candler fine sand for 6 weeks and fertilized weekly with a N:P:K (5:1:5) plus minor elements solution at 200 mg N · liter-1. A single application of 15NH4 15NO3 (20% 15N) was substituted for a normal weekly fertigation. Six replicate plants of each rootstock species were harvested at ½, 1½, 3½, 7½, 10½ and 30 days after I5N application. Uptake of 15N was more rapid in SC over the first 7½ days (17% of applied) than in CM (11%), but uptake over 30 days was similar (52-53%) for both species. A higher proportion of 15N was found in the photosynthetic tissues of CM (74%) than in SC (48%), whereas a lower proportion was found in the fibrous roots of CM (9%) than SC (22%).

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Jeff S. Kuehny, Patricia C. Branch and Felix J. Landry

Nitrate nitrogen has been recommended as the best form of nitrogen for the production of poinsettia while ammonium and urea have been reported to be deleterious to poinsettia growth. Recent studies have indicated that lower nitrogen and leaching levels will produce quality poinsettias. Poinsettias were grown with 21–7–7 Acid Special (9.15% NH4, 11.85% urea), 20–10–20 Peat-lite Special (7.77% NH4, 12.23% NO3), 15-220 plus Ca and Mg (1.5% NH4, 12.7% NO3, 0.8% urea), and 15–5–15 Excel CalMag (1.2% NH4, 11.75% NO3, 2.05% urea) applied at 200 mg·L-1. Plants were fertigated by drip irrigation with zero leachate. There were no significant differences between fertilizer treatments for plant height, width, bloom diameter, and dry weight. Electrical conductivity and pH did vary significantly between treatments; however, this did not effect plant growth. Thus, by using lower nitrogen levels and zero leachate, quality poinsettias can be grown with commercial fertilizers high in ammonium/urea or high in nitrate nitrogen, or ammonium and nitrate in combination.

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Eric J. Hanson, Philip A. Throop, Sedat Serce, John Ravenscroft and Eldor A. Paul

Highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) are long lived perennial plants that are grown on acidic soils. The goal of this study was to determine how blueberry cultivation might influence the nitrification capacity of acidic soils by comparing the nitrification potential of blueberry soils to adjacent noncultivated forest soils. The net nitrification potential of blueberry and forest soils was compared by treating soils with 15N enriched (NH4)2SO4, and monitoring nitrate (NO3 --N) production during a 34-day incubation period in plastic bags at 18 °C. Net nitrification was also compared by an aerobic slurry method. Autotrophic nitrifiers were quantified by the most probable number method. Nitrate production from labeled ammonium (15NH4 +) indicated that nitrification was more rapid in blueberry soils than in forest soils from six of the seven study sites. Slurry nitrification assays provided similar results. Blueberry soils also contained higher numbers of nitrifying bacteria compared to forest soils. Nitrification in forest soils did not appear to be limited by availability of NH4 + substrate. Results suggest that blueberry production practices lead to greater numbers of autotrophic nitrifying bacteria and increased nitrification capacity, possibly resulting from annual application of ammonium containing fertilizers.

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Xiaojie Zhao, Guihong Bi, Richard L. Harkess, Jac J. Varco, Tongyin Li and Eugene K. Blythe

Mar. 2013, 7 of the 15 plants that had received each 2012 N rate were fertigated twice per week for 6 weeks with 250 mL modified Hoagland’s solution containing 10 m m N from 15 NH 4 15 NO 3 . 15 Nitrogen-labeled fertilizer was used to distinguish

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Xiaojie Zhao, Guihong Bi, Richard L. Harkess, Jac J. Varco and Eugene K. Blythe

background biomass and nutrient composition. Remaining plants were fertigated twice per week from 25 Mar. to 3 May 2013 with 250 mL of modified Hoagland’s solution containing one of five N concentrations (0, 5, 10, 15, or 20 m m N) from 15 NH 4 15 NO 3

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Michael W. Smith, Bruce W. Wood and William R. Raun

natural rainfall and the orchard floor was not disk-cultivated and had grass cover before the study but was maintained vegetation-free during the study with herbicide. Other differences were in soil texture, soil pH, depth to water table, N form [( 15 NH 4

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Takafumi Kinoshita and Masaharu Masuda

in the fertilizer was labeled with 15 N (6.6 atom% 15 NH 4 -N). Ash of chicken droppings was mixed with the substrate in all treatments (10 g/plant). The experimental design was a completely randomized design with three replicates per treatment. Each