Diurnal changes in nitrogen and potassium absorption rates of plants grown in a greenhouse

Yodai Okuyama, Kiyoshi Ozawa, Michiko Takagaki

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9 Citations (Scopus)


In order to increase the efficiency of nutrient utilization in solution culture systems, it is indispensable to understand how plants absorb nutrients. A series of experiments were conducted using hydroponic culture system in the first to third experiments and soil culture system in the fourth experiment in a greenhouse in Okinawa, Japan. In the first experiment, changes in NO3-N absorption were measured every three hours during a 24-hour period on 40 days after transplanting (DAT) in cucumber. In the second experiment, daytime and nighttime NO3-N absorption were measured from 45 to 48 DAT in five crops including cucumber. In the third experiment, NO3-N, NH4-N, and K absorption in daytime, nighttime and shaded conditions were determined from 30 to 34 DAT in bitter gourd, a substitute crop for cucumber, and water spinach. In the fourth experiment, daytime and nighttime (NH4)2SO4-15N absorption rates were measured from 9 to 12 DAT in cucumber. The results showed that daily NO3-N absorption in cucumber peaked twice, just before midday and again just after the nightfall. The corresponding fluctuation pattern was observed in all other tested crops, with 20–41% of the total absorption occurring at night. Absorption rate of 15N in cucumber cultivated in soil also increased in daytime and decreased at night, with the nighttime rate accounting for 39–40% of the daily total absorption. The average nighttime NO3-N, NH4-N, and K absorption percentages of the daily total before shading the plant were 34–35%, 49– 51%, and 33–49%, respectively. During the shaded period, these nutrient absorption rates dramatically decreased, except for NH4-N which was not affected by shading. Across all experiments, 20–51% of total absorption took place at night, the majority of which may concentrate around the early nighttime. Furthermore, the absorption rates may be influenced by photosynthetic products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-262
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Agricultural Meteorology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2015


  • Daily change
  • Nighttime
  • Nutrient absorption


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