Leaf Nitrogen Content in Oil Palm Seedlings and their Relationship to SPAD Chlorophyll Meter Readings
Law, C. C, A.R. Zaharah M.H.A. Husni, A. Siti Nor Akmar

Abstract
The SPAD chlorophyll meter is a useful tool to assess Nitrogen (N) fertilizer requirement for many field crops with the advantages of rapid and in-field crop N status measurement. The objective of this study was to provide a direct comparison between SPAD meter readings versus leaf N concentrations in oil palm seedlings. Nine genotypes of oil palm were subjected to N stress conditions and then followed by N recovery. SPAD readings and the leaf N concentrations were measured to monitor the oil palm recovery responses induced by the stress condition. Based on this study, all oil palm genotypes, except Genotype I, demonstrated 9 days of lag period before the SPAD readings and leaf N concentrations began to increase. Genotype A showed the fastest recovery ability compared to the other genotypes. Genotypes A and E, which inherited more genetic diversity, showed better N response on recovery as compared to the other genotypes. SPAD readings of the oil palm also showed significant (p < 0.0001) and high positive association (r = 0.7337) with leaf N concentrations. This study showed that SPAD chlorophyll meter could be used as a reliable tool to determine the N status of the oil palm seedlings.
6 May, 2014
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