The Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology
Vol. 79 No: 3
Effects of spring soil nitrogen application on nitrogen remobilization, uptake, and partitioning for new growth in almond nursery plants
G BI, C. F. SCAGEL and L.H. FUCHIGAMI
One year old ŽNonpareil` almond (Prunus dulcis (Mill) D.A.Webb) trees on ŽLovell` rootstocks were used to evaluate the effects of soil nitrogen (N) availability in the spring on N remobilization, uptake, partitioning, and tree growth. After being transplanted to an N-free medium, the trees received a modified Hoagland solution, with or without N from 15N-depleted NH4NO3, twice a week for 12 weeks. During the first four weeks, the N used for new shoot and leaf growth mainly came from the nitrogen that had accumulated in storage tissues. No significant differences were seen in the amount and duration of N remobilization between N-fertilized trees and those that received no N. However, trees that were fertilized in the spring had significantly more new shoot and leaf growth. Uptake of 15N by the roots began two weeks after transplanting. Nitrogen was rapidly taken up from the soil during the period of greatest shoot and leaf growth; leaves were the major sink for N from both root uptake and storage. Six weeks after transplanting, the whole-tree N content was significantly higher in fertilized trees than in the controls. We conclude that the remobilization of N for spring new growth takes place irrespective of the current-year external N supply. However, the new growth in young almond trees is highly dependent on soil N availability, which demonstrates the importance of spring N fertilizer applications following transplantation.
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