Root Development in Aluminous Hawaiian Soils

Plucknett, D.L.
Moomaw, J.C.
Lamoureux, C.H.
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University of Hawai'i Press
Roots of Rhodomyrtus tomentosa and Melastoma malabathricum were excavated in three soil series from the bauxitic area of Kauai . Root systems of R. tomentosa and M. malabathricum in Kapaa and Halii soils were very shallow, with tap roots turning laterally at shallow depth and with long lateral roots very close to the soil surface. Deeper tap-root penetration of R. tomentosa and M. malabathricum was observed in the Koolau soil. Lime and phosphorus treatments were added to bauxitic subsoils of the Kapaa and Halii series in pots and Leucaena glauca (1.) was planted in the pots. Tap roots of L. glauca were stimulated by phosphorus treatment, but were restricted in untreated subsoils. Increased root development with phosphorus treatment seemed to be more related to phosphorus supply than to decreased aluminum effects. No evidence of root damage due to aluminum was found. L. glauca: roots were sectioned with a freezing microtome and stained, using hematoxylin without a mordant. Although all staining obtained could not be attributed to aluminum, since other metals can act as mordants for hematoxylin, intensity of staining was assumed to be related to aluminum concentration in the tissues. Cell walls, nuclei, and cytoplasm stained in all tissues, and outer walls of epidermal cells stained very heavily. Staining was more intense in roots from check and P-treated plants than in roots from lime-treated plants.
Plucknett DL, Moomaw JC, Lamoureux CH. 1963. Root development in aluminous Hawaiian soils. Pac Sci 17(4): 398-406.
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