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Floral analysis can be use as an early plant analytical tool to diagnose nutritional status of fruit trees?
Published March 25, 2009

A field experiment was conducted in an integrated apple orchard (Malus domestica Borkh.) established on a lowland chernozem soil in East-Hungary, to investigate if flower analysis could be used to diagnose the nutritional status of the trees. In April 2008, during full bloom, flowers and leaves were collected. Leaves were collected in August, at the standard sampling time from the same trees. The content of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium magnesium and boron were measured in flowers and in leaves. Correlation analyses were carried out to establish the relation s between nutrient contents in same and different plant part s. In flowers the following ratio was found between nutrients: N:P: K:Ca:Mg:B -10: l.35:7: 1.7: I :0,02. From result s it was evident that flower as organ contain significant and comparable amount of nutrients like as leaf. The N, K and Ca content were higher in leaves than in flowers at full bloom. The opposite was true for B. The P and Mg content of flower were quite equal with leaf P and Mg at full bloom . All examined nutrients were significantly affected by cultivars both in flowers and leaves. Significant correlation, was found between flower P and leaf P, flower B and leaf B (P=O.O 1) and flower K and leaf K at blooming time (P=0.05). Significant, but weaker correlation was also found between flower K and leaf K and between flower Mg and leaf Mg al JOO days after full bloom (P=0.05). Moreover, strong, but negative correlation was observed between flower B and leaf B at 100 clays after full bloom (P=O.O 1). Within flowers, the strongest positive correlation was found between Mg and B content (P=O.O 1). Strong positive correlations were also recognised between flower K and flower N, Ca and Mg and between N and Ca in the flowers (P=0.01). The strongest correlation was found between K and P in leaves at full bloom (P=O.O 1 ). Strong significant correlation was observed between N and B in the leaves collected at standard sampling time (100 DAFB) (P=0.01). Strong, but negative correlations were found bet ween leaf Mg and leaf P, K and between leaf N and leaf P at 100 days after full bloom (P=O.O 1).

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