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Agriculture 2018, 8(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8020020

Effect of Elemental Sulfur as Fertilizer Ingredient on the Mobilization of Iron from the Iron Pools of a Calcareous Soil Cultivated with Durum Wheat and the Crop’s Iron and Sulfur Nutrition

1
Plant Physiology Laboratory, Crop Science Department, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos, 11855 Athens, Greece
2
Botanical Institute, Cologne Biocenter, University of Cologne, D–50674 Cologne, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 October 2017 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Nutrient Dynamics in Stressful Environments)
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Abstract

The granules of conventional fertilizers have been enriched recently with 2% elemental sulfur (S0) via a binding material of organic nature and such fertilizers are suitable for large scale agriculture. In a previous work, we demonstrated that a durum wheat crop that received the enriched fertilization scheme (FBS0-crop) accumulated a higher amount of Fe compared to the durum wheat crop fertilized by the corresponding conventional fertilization scheme (F-crop). In this study, we investigated the effect of S0 on the contingent mobilization of iron from the iron pools of the calcareous field that affiliated the durum wheat crop and the corresponding effect on the crop’s iron nutrition and sulfur nutrition. A sequential extraction of Fe from root zone soil (rhizosoil) was applied and the fluctuations of these fractions during crop development were monitored. The fertilization with FBS0 at sowing affected the iron fractions of the rhizosoil towards iron mobilization, thus providing more iron to the crop, which apart from the iron nutrition fortified the crop’s sulfur nutrition, too. No iron was found as iron attached to carbonates of the rhizosoil. Fluctuations of the iron pool, bound or adsorbed to the organic matter, were exactly the opposite to those of the iron pool associated with the clay particles in both treatments, suggesting iron exchange between the two pools. Replenishment of the F-crop’s Fe content and a deficit in the FBS0-crop’s Fe content in the rhizosoil were found at the end of the cultivation period. Furthermore, the initiation of the fast stem elongation stage (day 125) constituted a turning point. Before day 125, the use of FBS0 increased the iron concentration in the main stems and this was an early fortification effect, followed by an increase in the organic S concentration. Following day 125, the FBS0-crop consisted of plants with higher main stems and less tillers. A late fortification effect was observed in the iron concentration of the main stems and their heads after the stage of complete flowering. Prior to harvesting in the FBS0-crop, all plant parts were heavier, with more iron and organic sulfur accumulated in these plant parts, and the obtained commercial yield of the FBS0-crop was higher by 27.3%. View Full-Text
Keywords: iron dynamics; sulfur; sulfate; durum wheat crop; calcareous soil; elemental sulfur; enriched fertilizer; rhizosoil iron fractions iron dynamics; sulfur; sulfate; durum wheat crop; calcareous soil; elemental sulfur; enriched fertilizer; rhizosoil iron fractions
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Bouranis, D.L.; Chorianopoulou, S.N.; Margetis, M.; Saridis, G.I.; Sigalas, P.P. Effect of Elemental Sulfur as Fertilizer Ingredient on the Mobilization of Iron from the Iron Pools of a Calcareous Soil Cultivated with Durum Wheat and the Crop’s Iron and Sulfur Nutrition. Agriculture 2018, 8, 20.

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