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To test the ability of plants to integrate small-scale imbalances in soil nitrate and phosphate patches, plant growth and acquisition of nitrate and phosphate were measured for the perennial grass Agropyron desertorum (Fisch. ex Link) Schult. and the shrub Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. vaseyana (Rydb.) Beetle in soil where the principal supply of nitrate and phosphate came from two enriched patches. The soil was calcareous loamy-skeletal Typic Haploxerolls. These patches were applied in two treatments: either nitrate and phosphate were applied in both patches (balanced treatment) or one patch contained only nitrate and the other only phosphate (unbalanced treatment). The same total quantity of nutrients was applied...
Several recent studies demonstrate that yield of individual plants, and their allocation of biomass between roots and shoots, can be profoundly affected by the pattern of supply of soil-based resources. Patchy provision of soil-based resources can affect the location of root biomass, as roots often proliferate in nutrient-rich patches. Root system size is important in determining whether plants access nutrient-rich patches, and the proportion of root systems located within such patches. This proportion will alter as growth proceeds. Species with small root systems have a limited ability to place roots in nutrient-rich patches even when they are very close. Of four species with different root system sizes, the growth...

    map background search result map search result map Nitrate and phosphate uptake by Agropyron desertorum and Artemisia tridentata from soil patches with balanced and unbalanced nitrate and phosphate supply