Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization in wild lowbush blueberry in Quebec
Few studies have evaluated the interactions between nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in wild lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) production. The objective of this study was to determine the response of blueberry to N and P fertilization under the climatic and edaphic conditions of the SaguenayLac-Saint-Jean (Quebec, Canada). The treatments consisted of four N rates (0, 30, 60 and 90 kg ha 1) and fourP rates (0, 30, 60 and 90 kg P2O5 ha 1). The optimum fruit yields (5361 kg ha 1) were determined by solving the first derivative of the regression equation and were obtained with a rate of 64 kg N ha 1 while P fertilization had no significant effect on yields in this experiment. The density of stem, the number of flower buds and the height of the plants have only increased with N fertilization. In the sprout year, leaf N, P and potassium (K) concentrations increased with N and P. Phosphorus fertilizer only increased leaf P concentration. However, a high rate of N decreased leaf calcium and magnesium concentrations. Fruit yields were significantly correlated with plant height (r = 0.75), numberof flowerbuds (r = 0.82), stem density (r = 0.52), and leaf N, P and K concentrations (r = 0.58, 0.57 and 0.72, respectively). The productivity of wild blueberry was strongly influenced by N fertilization and the interactions with P have been limited. This lack of response to P fertilization confirmed that the crop P requirements were limited and can be met by soil P.
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