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Little Potential of Spring Wheat Genotypes as a Strategy to Reduce Nitrogen Leaching in Central Europe

Agroscope. Route de Duillier 50, Nyon 1260, Switzerland
Instituto de Investigaciones en Biociencias Agrícolas y Ambientales (INBA-CONICET), Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires C1417DSE, Argentina
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Universitätstrasse 2, Zürich CH-8092, Switzerland
Hellenic Agricultural Organization DEMETER, N.AG.RE.F.-Industrial and Forage Crops Institute, 1, Theophrastou Str. 41335, Larissa 41335, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Mariangela Diacono, Francesco Montemurro and Peter Langridge
Agronomy 2016, 6(2), 29;
Received: 25 January 2016 / Revised: 15 April 2016 / Accepted: 25 April 2016 / Published: 9 May 2016
Nitrogen (N) losses negatively impact groundwater quality. Spring wheat genotypes varying in N-fertilizer recovery were studied (by using lysimeters) for their potential to minimize NO3-N leaching during spring and summer, over a three-year period. Additionally, we examined to what extent root growth and NO3-N leaching explain the well-known difference found between apparent and isotopic N recovery. The genotypes were grown under low (2 g m−2) and high (27 g m−2) N fertilizer supply. On average, the apparent and isotopic recoveries of N fertilizer by wheat were 43% and 51%, respectively. The three genotypes varied in fertilizer N recovery but not in NO3-N leaching, which only accounted for 15% of the applied N fertilizer. The differences in N uptake, fertilizer N recovery and root growth among the genotypes were not associated with the leached NO3-N because root growth and N uptake were not well synchronized with NO3-N leaching. Already at stem elongation 70% to 98% of the season-long NO3-N leaching had already taken place. Thus, the ability to minimize in-season NO3-N leaching by using spring wheat genotypes with higher fertilizer N recovery was limited because maximum N leaching occurred in the early crop season. View Full-Text
Keywords: lysimeters; fertilizer N recovery; N uptake; root; minirhizotron lysimeters; fertilizer N recovery; N uptake; root; minirhizotron
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Herrera, J.M.; Noulas, C.; Stamp, P.; Pellet, D. Little Potential of Spring Wheat Genotypes as a Strategy to Reduce Nitrogen Leaching in Central Europe. Agronomy 2016, 6, 29.

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