A two-year study was conducted to determine how soil texture affects calcium (Ca) absorption and partitioning in potted ‘Hass’ avocado trees. Trees were planted in 200 L pots in one of four soil types: clay (C), clay loam (CL), sandy loam (SL) or sand (S). Prior to planting, Ca content in each soil was in the normal range of availability, although the Ca concentration was highest in C soil. After two years of tree development, dry weights of shoots and roots were significantly higher in the SL and S soils than in C soil. Trees in the C soil had higher wood dry weight than trees in SL or S soils. The Ca contents (absolute quantities, not concentrations) in the roots, shoots and whole tree were significantly lower in the C soil than in the SL or S soils. The K/Ca ratio of trees in the C soil (K/Ca = 1.5) was significantly higher than that in the other soil types. Stem water potential was significantly lower for trees in the C soil compared to the other soils. These results indicate that Ca absorption and partitioning in young avocado trees varies with soil texture, probably associated with soil effects on root growth and/or plant water status.
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