Evaluation of FE-heme Applications or Intercropping for Preventing Iron Deficiency in Blueberry
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The aim of this investigation was to study the effectiveness and physiological implications of sustainable strategies to correct Fe chlorosis in blueberries, based on Fe-heme applications or intercropping with graminaceous species. The experiment was conducted in a blueberry orchard established on a sub-alkaline soil. The Fe-heme applications increased shoot length without increasing the leaf chlorophyll concentration, gaseous exchange, and fruit yield components in comparison with control plants. On the other hand, intercropping with graminaceous species increased the leaf chlorophyll concentration, photosynthetic activity, and fruit yield, with similar effectiveness to the Fe-EDDHA treatment. However, this management technique reduced the shoot length and leaf N, P, and K concentrations in the plants. The results obtained highlight the potential of intercropping with graminaceous species as a sustainable management technique to correct Fe chlorosis in blueberry. Further studies will need to select new graminaceous species characterized by low nutrient requirements in order to optimize the effectiveness of this management technique.
KeywordsIntercropping Fe-heme Iron chlorosis Photosynthesis Leaf chlorophyll Vaccinium spp.
This work was supported by the Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (CONICYT) of Chile (FONDECYT project no. 11130328).
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