Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Nutritional requirements of the thin-leaved huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaceum Dougl.) Public Deposited

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  • Research was conducted on the effect of field fertilization with nitrogen on existing huckleberry fields. Research was also carried out in the greenhouse to ascertain the effects of various levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in a nutrient solution arid the effect of the pH of the solution or growth of seedlings. The 1973 berry season provided few berries and no effect of the field fertilization on the berry production could be implied. However, all levels of fertilization (10, 40, and 160 lbs N/ac) yielded better vegetative growth than the control plots. The increases in growth were greatest in the 40 and 160 lbs N/ac treatments and the difference between these two treatments was not significant. It seems that 40 bs N/ac may provide a response near enough to the maximum possible response that additions of over this amount will cause only slightly better growth. A bioassay of the field soil and fertilization levels was carried out in the greenhouse using seedlings as a check of the field response. Results were similar to those obtained in the field except that a larger relative response was seen in the bioassay. The pH study and the nutrient study were carried out in the greenhouse using sterile sand as the growth medium. The pH study showed that huckleberry seedlings grew well if the pH of the nutrient solution was between 4. 0 and 6. 0, with 5. 0 providing the optimum growth. It was found that pH 3. 0 caused reduced growth and necrosis of leaf tissue. Al]. treatment solutions in the nutrient study were derived from Hoagland's solution. Three levels each of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium were used. The nitrogen level was the most important factor on the growth of the seedlings, with the high level yielding good growth and the low level yielding little or no growth. High levels of phosphorus and potassium proved to be an asset to good growth only when a high revel of nitrogen was also present in the solution. Solutions containing a high level of potassium without a high level of nitrogen yielded little or no growth and caused necrosis of the leaf tissue. It is concluded that application of a fertilizer containing nitrogen would be the most beneficial type. In addition, applications of fertilizers containing phosphorus or potassium should be avoided unless these elements are limiting factors of growth.
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