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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mayaguez, Puerto Rico » Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #342141

Title: Dry matter production and nutrient content of mamey sapote grown on an acid ultisol

item Goenaga, Ricardo

Submitted to: Experimental Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/18/2018
Publication Date: 2/13/2018
Citation: Goenaga, R.J. 2018. Dry matter production and nutrient content of mamey sapote grown on an acid ultisol. Experimental Agriculture. pgs. 1-9.

Interpretive Summary: The most productive soils of the world are already under cultivation, and those available for agricultural expansion are often strongly acid, possessing toxic levels of soil aluminum and/or manganese. These elements could drastically reduce crop yields when present in the soil at high concentrations. Incorporation of lime to the soil is a common practice to ameliorate acidity but it is not very effective below the plough layer and often lime is not available to farmers with limited resources. The effect of soil acidity factors on dry matter production and leaf nutrient composition of four mamey sapote clones was assessed during a 2-year field study. The results of this study demonstrate that dry matter production and stem diameter in young trees growth of mamey sapote were not significantly affected when grown at soil Al concentrations ranging from 3.5 to as high as 7.8 cmol kg-1 . The concentration of leaf and stem Al was not significantly affected but the Al concentration in roots declined sharply with increases in soil Al, suggesting the activation of an Al-exclusion mechanism.

Technical Abstract: Little is known about the adaptability of mamey sapote (Pouteria sapota) to acidic soils high in aluminum (Al). A two-year field study was conducted to determine the effects of various levels of soil Al on dry matter production, stem diameter and nutrient concentration in tissues of four clones of mamey sapote. Soil Al treatments were statistically different for all variables measured in the study. Clones and the year x cultivar interaction were not significant, therefore, results were averaged over clones and years. Increasing soil Al concentration from 3.5 cmol kg-1 to 7.8 cmol kg-1 resulted in an increase in total dry weight but higher soil Al concentrations resulted in dry weight and stem diameter reductions. Increments in soil Al resulted in a significant reduction in the concentration of leaf, stem and root Ca. The Al concentration in leaf and stem tissues was not significantly affected with increments in soil Al but there was a significant decline in the concentration of Al in root tissue suggesting that mamey sapote may exclude Al from roots.