Predicting initial tall fescue root growth response to calcium/aluminum solution concentrations

John S. Kruse, William P. Miller, Maxim J. Schlossberg, Daniel Yanosky, Daniel B. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A study was conducted to quantify effects of soluble aluminum (Al) and gypsum (CaSO4) on initial root growth of three varieties of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea). Experiments were performed in a growth chamber using hydroponic solutions containing Al from 0 to74 μM in combination with CaSO4 at 0 to10 mM. Seedlings were grown for 7d, harvested, air dried, scanned, and weighed for treatment comparisons. Significant differences in root length existed between varieties in Al-only solutions at low Al concentrations. All varieties showed reduced root growth at concentrations greater than 37 μM Al. Increased calcium (Ca2+) and sulfate (SO42-) at given concentrations of Al resulted in greater root growth. Relative root growth increased approximately 30% to >80% at 37 μM Al as CaSO4 increased from 2.5 to 10mM. A simple logistic model adequately described the effects of Al and CaSO4 on root growth (r2 = 0.86, 0.95, and 0.96 for the three varieties).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1227-1239
Number of pages13
JournalCommunications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Apr 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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