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Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2003 Spring;58(2):93-115.

Nutritional characteristics of the leaves of native plants growing in adverse soils of humid tropical lowlands.

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Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Kita 9, Nishi 9, Kitaku, Sapporo 060-8589, Japan.


Acid sulfate, peat, sandy podzolic, and saline soils are widely distributed in the lowlands of Thailand and Malaysia. The nutrient concentrations in the leaves of plants grown in these type of soils were studied with the aim of developing a nutritional strategy for adapting to such problem soils. In sago and oil palms that were well-adapted to peat soil, the N, P, and K concentrations were the same in the mature leaves, while the Ca, Mg, Na, and Fe concentrations were higher in the mature leaves of the oil palm than of the sago palm. Melastoma malabathricum and Melaleuca cajuputi plants that were well-adapted to low pH soils, peat. and acid sulfate soils were also studied. It was observed that a high amount of Al accumulated in the M. marabathricum leaves, while Al did not accumulate in M. cajuputi leaves. M. cajuputi plants accumulated large amounts of Na in their leaves or stems regardless of the exchangeable Na concentration in the soil, while M. malabathricum that was growing in saline-affected soils excluded Na. Positive relationships between macronutrients were recognized between P and N, between K and N, and between P and K. Al showed antagonistic relationships with P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Cu, and Na. Na also showed antagonistic relationships with P, K, Zn, Mn, Cu, and Al. Fe showed weak antagonistic relationships with Zn, Mn, Cu, and Al.

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