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Appears in Collections:eTheses from Faculty of Natural Sciences legacy departments
Title: Aspects of soil acidity and their effect on plant growth
Author(s): Kidd, Petra Susan
Issue Date: 1998
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: The effects of low pH, AI, organic and phenolic acids on the growth of naturally occurring plant species were determined. The amelioration of Al toxicity by Si and organic acids was also investigated. Plants were grown from seeds in nutrient solutions simulating the ionic composition of soil solutions from five soil types ranging from acidic peat to calcareous soil. Soil solutions were extracted and analysed using centrifugation, with and without an immiscible displacent (1,1, I-trichloroethane), at both low (4000 rpm) and high speed (12000 rpm). Races of Holcus lanatus L. and Betula pendula Roth. from acidic soils (FM and SMM) grew better in low pH solutions (pH< 4.0). In acid-sensitive races Ca absorption was inhibited at low pH. Races of B.pendula from strongly to moderately acidic soils (FM, SMM, KP) were AI-tolerant and effectively excluded Al from shoots. Root elongation and leaf expansion were inhibited by all Al concentrations in races from calcareous soils (KR). Low concentrations of Al stimulated growth in some races of B.pendula (2 and 5 mg Al lˉ¹) and Anthoxanthum odoratum L. (1.3 and 2.7 mg Al lˉ¹). Al (25 and 35 mg lˉ¹) inhibited root and shoot growth in H.lanatus. Si (1500 and 2500 µM Si(OH)₄) addition to nutrient solutions alleviated AI-damage and restored nutrient uptake to values similar to those in plants grown with neither Al or Si. The ameliorative effects of Si were possibly achieved through AI/Si co-deposition in the root cell walls and maintenance of Golgi activity. Si at 1500 µM was beneficial but inhibited growth at 2500 µM. Al and hydroxyaluminosilicates at pH 5.6 were not toxic. Formic and tartaric acid ameliorated Al toxicity by reducing its availability. These organic acids on their own stimulated growth in H.lanatus and Deschampsia flexuosa (L.) Trin. Phenolic acids stimulated growth of H.lanatus in acidic solutions (pH 4.0) but not near-neutral solutions, particularly in races from soils high in phenolics. Addition of plant residue to acidic peats increased the growth of races from calcareous and acidic mineral soils.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: Faculty of Natural Sciences
Department of Biological Science

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