Soil acidity and aluminium in South Island high and hill country: new data and future needs
Soil extractable aluminium (Al) concentrations can have a strong impact on the establishment, growth and persistence of pasture legumes. This has become clear in New Zealand high and hill-country, where legumes are scarce and failing to persist in acid soils with high Al levels. For the last decade a research programme has been conducted at Lincoln University focused on legume growth and persistence in acid, high Al concentration soils. Research has examined several aspects of soil acidity and Al toxicity and screened and evaluated a range of legume species, identifying several that show promise in their growth and persistence under acidic and high Al concentrations, in addition to harsh climatic environments. This paper summarises this extensive body of research and also suggests some future research topics for addressing the growing challenge of increasing soil acidity and soil Al faced by increasing numbers of producers.
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