A number of general effects of phosphorus deficiency on plant growth are described. The experiments employed a wide range of species from different ecological habitats. Most species followed a similar pattern regardless of ecological origin.
Seed size seemed to be the principal factor determining the severity of deficiency in short-term experiments. Deficiency affected root/shoot ratio, hydration and leuco-anthocyanin content. Even when plants were severely affected by deficiency they were sensitive to the physical environment.