Nitrogen and phosphorus nutrition and stoichiometry in the response of maize to various N rates under different rotation systems.

Ma, B.-L., Zheng, Z.M., Morrison, M.J., and Gregorich, E.G. (2016). "Nitrogen and phosphorus nutrition and stoichiometry in the response of maize to various N rates under different rotation systems.", Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, pp. 1-13. doi : 10.1007/s10705-016-9761-6  Access to full text

Abstract

Better understanding of plant nutrition and nutrient interactions is of critical importance for developing best management practices in crop production. A three-year study was conducted to examine N and P nutrition and their association in maize as affected by rotation system, N application rate and hybrid maize. Rotation by N treatments were composed of maize–alfalfa (MA), maize–soybean (MS) and continuous maize (MM), fertilized in maize year at 0, 50, 100 and 150 kg N ha−1, respectively. The two maize varieties were glyphosate-resistant (RR) non-Bt (non-Bt) and stacked RR + Bt near-isoline (Bt) hybrids. Our data showed that grain yield, stover, and total aboveground (or shoot) dry matter, N and P uptake (except for stover P) in amounts followed the order MA > MS > MM and were well responsive to N rates. Grain and shoot N and P contents of Bt maize was greater (P < 0.05) than those of non-Bt hybrid in MM. The N:P ratio was positively correlated with N application rates, and was greater in rotational maize than in MM. Both hybrids attained their maximum yields at approximately 201 kg ha−1 of grain N and 255 kg ha−1 of shoot N, corresponding to 36 and 43 kg P ha−1 in grain and shoot. Nitrogen harvest index, P harvest index and nutrient internal efficiency were responsive to N rates but were not different between the hybrids. This study revealed that the critical grain and shoot N content achieving maximum yield appeared to concomitantly result in high P contents.

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