Roots have high plasticity with the ability to adapt to heterogeneous nutrient distribution, but little is known about the effects of phosphorus (P) supply methods and levels on Rosa multiflora
Thunb. ex Murr. root growth and nutrient accumulation. A pot study was conducted with two P supply methods (mixed and localized application) and three levels (P-deficient, P-moderate and P-adequate). The results showed that with localized application, P-deficient and P-moderate treatments significantly improved total root length, total surface area, total length of fine roots, shoot DW and total P accumulation in Rosa multiflora
compared with their respective mixed application at 45 days after being transplanted (DAT) and 92 DAT; for P-adequate supply, the same trends were observed at 45 DAT, but not at 92 DAT. At 92 DAT, with localized application, when P levels increased from P-deficient to P-moderate, total P accumulation increased by 43.3%; but when P levels increased from P-moderate to P-adequate, no effect was observed. Furthermore, higher P accumulation in leaves was observed in localized P-moderate condition; decreased P uptake per root dry weight and greater root/shoot ratio were observed in localized P-adequate at 92 DAT. Total P accumulation was positively correlated with total root length and root surface area (R2
: 0.68~0.94). There was a significant interaction effect among treatment days, P supply methods and levels (p
≤ 0.05) on shoot DW, root DW, root/shoot ratio and total P accumulation. These findings indicated that localized and moderate P supply appear efficient for improving R. multiflora
growth and P accumulation via efficient root system development.
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