“Preferential” ammonium uptake by sugarcane does not increase the 15N recovery of fertilizer sources
- 469 Downloads
As ammonium (NH4+) has been reported as the “preferred” mineral N source for sugarcane (Saccharum spp.), the predominant supply of NH4+ has been hypothesized as a means of increasing the 15N recovery and crop yield. We aimed to evaluate the 15N recovery by sugarcane as affected by 15N-NH4+ and 15N-NO3− addition.
Under field conditions, 15N-labeled ammonium nitrate [labeling as 15NH4NO3 (15N-NH4+) and NH415NO3 (15N-NO3−)] and urea were surface-applied at a rate of 100 kg N ha−1. Under controlled conditions, sugarcane was grown in hydroponic medium (containing unlabeled N) until the maximum N demand period. Subsequently, plants received 15N-NH4+ or 15N-NO3− (as ammonium nitrate). Plants were then sampled at 1, 3, 7, and 15 d after fertilization (DAF) to estimate 15N recovery.
Under field conditions, the 15N recovery for urea was lower than that for ammonium nitrate, partly explained by ammonia volatilization, but there was no difference in N use efficiency between the two fertilizer N sources, as well as between 15N-NH4+ and 15N-NO3− supply. Under controlled conditions, however, 15N-NH4+ resulted in higher 15N recovery than 15N-NO3− until 7 DAF. Nevertheless, as 15N-NH4+ became depleted in the nutrient solution, 15N-NO3− was taken up more intensely by the crop. At 15 DAF, highest 15N recovery was detected in the roots and whole plant under 15N-NO3− supply.
Although uptake of NH4+ is faster than NO3−, the so-called “preference” for NH4+ by the crop did not necessarily translate into higher 15N recovery. Therefore, we suggest that the term “preference” should be used with caution to avoid misinterpretation.
KeywordsSaccharum spp. Biofuels Plant preference Nitrate Uptake efficiency Nitrogen use efficiency
ammonium nitrate labeled in 15NH4+
ammonium nitrate labeled in 15NO3−
cation exchange capacity
days after fertilization
N use efficiency
N derived from fertilizer
The first author (BNB) was supported by scholarship from the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo [FAPESP; grant #2013/17278-1]. The experiment under field conditions was performed in a sugarcane field belonging to the São José da Estiva Sugarcane Mill. We thank editor and three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments, which helped us to improve the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Blake GR, Hartge KH (1986) Bulk density. In: Klute A (ed) Methods of soil analysis: part 1. Physical and mineralogical methods, 2nd edn. SSSA, ASA, Madison, pp 363–376Google Scholar
- Boschiero BN (2017) Adubação nitrogenada em soqueiras de cana-de-açúcar: influência do uso em longo prazo de fontes e/ou doses de nitrogênio. PhD thesis, University of São Paulo, College of Agriculture Luiz de Queiroz. http://www.teses.usp.br/teses/disponiveis/11/11140/tde-23012017-103942/pt-br.php. Accessed 5 May 2017
- Bremner JM (1996) Nitrogen total. In: Sparks DL (ed) Methods of soil analysis: part 3. Chemical methods. SSSA, ASA, Madison, pp 1085–1121Google Scholar
- Cantarella H (2007) Nitrogênio. In: Novais RF, Alvarez VHV, Barros NF et al (eds) Fertilidade do Solo. Sociedade Brasileira de Ciência do Solo, Viçosa, pp 375–470Google Scholar
- Hoagland DR, Arnon DI (1950) The water culture method for growing plants without soil. California Agricultural Experiment Station: Circular No. 347, Berkeley, 32 p.Google Scholar
- Meyer JH, Schumann AW, Wood RA et al (2007) Recent advances to improve nitrogen use efficiency of sugarcane in the south African sugar industry. Proc Int Soc Sugar Cane Technol 26:238–246Google Scholar
- Moore PH, Botha FC (2014) Sugarcane: physiology, biochemistry, and functional biology. Wiley, Chichester, p 693Google Scholar
- Nelson DW, Sommers LE (1996) Total carbon, organic carbon and organic matter. In: Sparks DL (ed) Methods of soil analysis: chemical methods. ASA and SSSA, Madison, pp 961–1010Google Scholar
- Robinson N, Brackin R, Vinall K et al (2011) Nitrate paradigm does not hold up for sugarcane. PLoS One 6(e19045):1–9Google Scholar
- Salsac L, Chaillou S, Morot-Gaudry J-F et al (1987) Nitrate and ammonium nutrition in plants. Plant Physiol Biochem 25:805–812Google Scholar
- Soil Survey Staff (2014) Keys to soil taxonomy, 12th edn. USDA–NRCS, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- Spironello A, van Raij B, Penatti CP et al (1997) Cana-de-açúcar. In: van Raij B, Cantarella H, Quaggio JA, Furlani AMC (eds) Recomendações de adubação e calagem para o Estado de São Paulo. Instituto Agronômico, Campinas, pp 237–239Google Scholar
- Subbarao GV, Sahrawat KL, Nakahara K et al (2012) Biological nitrification inhibition-a novel strategy to regulate nitrification in agricultural systems. Adv Agron 114:249–302Google Scholar
- van Raij B, Andrade JC, Cantarella H, Quaggio JA (2001) Análise química para avaliação da fertilidade de solos tropicais. Instituto Agronômico, Campinas, p 285Google Scholar
- Vitti GC (1989) Avaliação e interpretação do enxofre no solo e na planta. FUNEP, Jaboticabal, p 37Google Scholar
- Vitti AC, Trivelin PCO, Gava GJC et al (2002) Recuperação do nitrogênio (15N) do amônio e do nitrato aplicado ao solo pela cana-de-açúcar. Rev Bras Pesqui e Desenvolv 2:1524–1528Google Scholar