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Agronomy 2018, 8(12), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8120303

Soil Properties for Predicting Soil Mineral Nitrogen Dynamics Throughout a Wheat Growing Cycle in Calcareous Soils

1
NEIKER-Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, Berreaga, 1, 48160 Derio, Biscay, Spain
2
Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, The University of the Basque Country, Barrio Sarriena s/n, 48940 Leioa, Biscay, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 October 2018 / Revised: 11 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 15 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fertilizer Application on Crop Yield)
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Abstract

A better understanding of the capacity of soils to supply nitrogen (N) to wheat can enhance fertilizer recommendations. The aim of this study was to assess the soil mineral N (Nmin) dynamics throughout the wheat growing season in crucial stages for the plant yield and grain protein content (GPC). To this aim, we evaluated the utility of different soil properties analyzed before sowing: (i) commonly used soil physicochemical properties, (ii) potentially mineralizable N or No (aerobic incubation), and (iii) different extraction methods for estimating No. A greenhouse experiment was established using samples from 16 field soils from northern Spain. Wheat N uptake and soil Nmin concentrations were determined at following growing stages (GS): sowing, GS30, GS37, GS60, harvest, post-harvest, and pre-sowing. Pearson’s correlation analysis of the soil properties, aerobic incubations and chemical extractions with the soil Nmin dynamics and N uptake, yield and GPC was performed. In addition, correlations were performed between Nmin and the N uptake, yield, and GPC. The dynamics of soil Nmin throughout the cropping season were variable, and thus, the crop N necessities were variable. The soil Nmin values in the early wheat growth stages were well correlated with the yield, and in the late stages, they were well correlated with GPC. N0 was correlated with the late N uptake and GPC. However, the chemical methods that avoid the long periods required for N0 determinations were not correlated with the N uptake in the late wheat growth stages or GPC. Conversely, clay was positively correlated with the late Nmin values and GPC. Chemical methods were unable to estimate the available soil N in the later stages of the growing cycle. Consequently, as incubation methods are too laborious for their widespread use, further research must be conducted. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil N supply; soil N mineralization; N fertilization; potentially mineralizable N; humid Mediterranean climate soil N supply; soil N mineralization; N fertilization; potentially mineralizable N; humid Mediterranean climate
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Aranguren, M.; Aizpurua, A.; Castellón, A.; Besga, G.; Villar, N. Soil Properties for Predicting Soil Mineral Nitrogen Dynamics Throughout a Wheat Growing Cycle in Calcareous Soils. Agronomy 2018, 8, 303.

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