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Manganese sources and rates impact plant Mn concentrations and soil Mn fractions

by Ashleigh Montgomery, Elizabeth M Herndon, Carl Sims, Sindhu Jagadamma
Publication Type
Journal Name
Soil Science Society of America Journal
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1120 to 1135

Manganese (Mn) is an essential micronutrient for all organisms. In plants, Mn plays a critical role in photosynthesis and as a structural component of enzymes. In soils, Mn exists as different fractions of varying availability to plants. Mn fertilizers can be used to increase Mn availability to plants but are easily converted from a plant-available fraction (exchangeable Mn) to an unavailable fraction (Mn-oxides). Little research has been done in agricultural settings on soil Mn fractions; thus, the objective of this experiment was to study the effect of Mn additions on soil Mn fractions and plant Mn concentration. A greenhouse experiment was conducted by growing soybean (Glycine max) treated with three Mn application rates (recommended or 1×, 10×, and 50×) of two sources (MnSO4 and Mn ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid [MnEDTA]). Soil Mn fractions (Mehlich-1 extractable, exchangeable, organic-bound, Mn-oxide, residual) were quantified via sequential Mn extraction procedures. Bioavailability was evaluated by measuring soybean leaf Mn concentrations. Both fertilizer types increased available soil Mn fractions. Leaf Mn concentration increased with MnSO4 50× application at the V3 stage and decreased with MnEDTA addition at the V3 and R2 stages. Mn additions likely resulted in the conversion of Mn into unavailable fractions. This was amplified by higher application rates, where total Mn increased by 18.5%, but available Mn decreased by 4.3% relative to initial soil values. Thus, our study showed that adding Mn to soils does not necessarily increase plant-available Mn.