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Title:Effects of Simulated Acid Rain on Growth and Yield of Field-Grown Corn and Soybeans (Glycine Max, Zea Mays)
Author(s):Porter, Paul Max
Department / Program:Agronomy
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Agriculture, Agronomy
Abstract:This study was undertaken in an effort to help determine the effects of acid rain on corn and soybean growth and production. Two corn (Zea mays L.) and two soybean (Glycine max L.) cultivars were exposed to six simulated rain acidity levels throughout the 1983 and 1984 growing seasons. The field experiments were conducted on a Flanagan silt loam (Aquic Argiudoll) soil at the Agronomy and Plant Pathology South Farm, Urbana, IL. The crops were shielded from ambient rainfall by means of movable rain exclusion shelters which covered the crops only during ambient rainfall and when simulated rain was applied. The crops received biweekly applications of 1.05 cm of simulated rain ranging in pH from 5.6 to 3.0. The pH of the simulated corn was adjusted to the desired level with the addition of sulfuric and nitric acids. Each treatment was replicated 12 times each year, except for the soybean in 1984, when each treatment was replicated only 9 times.
Analysis of the effects of pH on corn grain yield showed no statistically significant linear or quadratic trends ((alpha) < 0.100) for either 'Pioneer 3377' or 'B73xMo17' in individual years or with both years combined. Whereas Pioneer 3377 was unaffected by treatment acidity, for B73xMo17 the two year combined yield for the pH 3.0 treatment was significantly lower (by 6%) than the average yield for the other five treatments. In addition to the yield reduction for B73xMo17 there were 5% fewer ears, 5% less cob dry weight, 3% fewer kernels per ear, and a 3% increase in seed protein content at the most acidic treatment when compared to the average of the other five treatments.
For the two year combined data the soybean cultivar 'Amsoy 71' showed significant linear decreases in seed yield, chaff dry weight, seed ha('-1), plant height, lodging score, as well as a linear increase in seed oil content with increasing treatment acidity. 'Williams 82' exhibited significant quadratic trends in seed yield and seed size, with the largest values near ambient rainfall acidity (pH 4.3). For Williams 82 seed protein content decreased and seed oil and content increased with increasing treatment acidity.
Issue Date:1986
Description:127 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1986.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8623391
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1986

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