Recent Advances in Nutrition and Fertilization of Horticultural Crops

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 33260

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Horticultural crop fertilization has moved toward a precision management system that aims at joining crop quality, environmental and economical sustainability. This goal can be achieved through 1) the knowledge of the nutrient requirement of the crop, 2) the determination of soil nutrient availability and kinetics of plant uptake and 3) the use of local, recycled, organic, agri-food wastes. Keeping in mind that the application of a circular economy path is an indispensable step on the way of pursuing a reduction of CO2 emission and the crop carbon footprint, the knowledge of optimal thresholds for soil nutrient availability for each horticultural crop is crucial to define a correct application rate not only for nitrogen, but also for all macro- and micronutrients. Soil structure, microbial communities, biodiversity (plant intercropping) and water management are among the major factors that affect nutrient availability and should be optimized to maximize fertilizer effectiveness.

Dr. Moreno Toselli
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • organic amendment
  • nutrient availability
  • nutrient use efficiency
  • nutrient uptake kinetic
  • plant growth-promoting microorganisms
  • root rhizosphere

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 1287 KiB  
Article
Temporal Recovery of Polymer-Coated Urea-N by Kentucky Bluegrass in the Field
by Maxim J. Schlossberg
Horticulturae 2022, 8(3), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8030207 - 26 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2693
Abstract
Relative to soluble N sources, controlled release fertilizer (CRF) fosters consistent turfgrass growth response and improved canopy quality while reducing N loss as nitrate, ammonia, and/or N2O from target systems. Commercial CRFs afford turfgrass managers greater operational efficiency and flexibility in [...] Read more.
Relative to soluble N sources, controlled release fertilizer (CRF) fosters consistent turfgrass growth response and improved canopy quality while reducing N loss as nitrate, ammonia, and/or N2O from target systems. Commercial CRFs afford turfgrass managers greater operational efficiency and flexibility in nutrient management planning and compel the investigation of application rate thresholds to guide regional agencies tasked with their regulation. The experimental objective was to systematically evaluate, under an array of field conditions, Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) vigor/yield, fertilizer N offtake, canopy density, and canopy color temporal response to a single application of granular N fertilizer made at practical rates. In May of 2014 and 2015, plots within a mature Kentucky bluegrass system were fertilized by conventional urea or Duration 45 polymer coated urea (PCU) at a N rate of 43.9 kg·ha−1 (0.9 lbs N·1000 ft−2); or PCU (Duration 90, Duration 120, or 43% N Polyon) at a N rate of 87.8 kg·ha−1 (1.8 lbs N·1000 ft−2). Resulting measures of the described dependent variables proved similar over both growing seasons and were highly dependent on the N rate and PCU attribute. Following 18-week evaluations, the average total percent fertilizer N recoveries from conventional urea, Duration 45, Duration 90, Duration 120, and Polyon (43% N) were 63%, 87%, 82%, 78%, and 77%, respectively. Temporal release among commercial PCU fertilizers indicates varying suitability by commodity and seasonal nutrient requirements. Hypothesis tests on experiment-end unaccounted fertilizer N totals show one 87.8 kg N·ha−1 application of the described 100% PCU fertilizer treatments poses no greater environmental risk than a 43.9 kg N·ha−1 application of conventional urea fertilizer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nutrition and Fertilization of Horticultural Crops)
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13 pages, 2370 KiB  
Article
Nutrient Uptake and Yield of Chinese Cabbage (Brassica rapa L. Chinensis) Increased with Application of Macadamia Husk Compost
by Dembe Maselesele, John B. O. Ogola and Romeo N. Murovhi
Horticulturae 2022, 8(3), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8030196 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4547
Abstract
There is a dearth of information on the effect of macadamia husk compost (MHC) on the productivity of short-season, shallow-rooted annual crops. We assessed the response of yield and nutrient uptake of Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. Chinensis) to MHC application. [...] Read more.
There is a dearth of information on the effect of macadamia husk compost (MHC) on the productivity of short-season, shallow-rooted annual crops. We assessed the response of yield and nutrient uptake of Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. Chinensis) to MHC application. The treatments (zero control, inorganic fertilizer (100:60:60 kg NPK ha−1), and 15 and 30 t ha−1 MHC) were arranged in a randomized complete block design and replicated three times. Number of leaves, leaf area index, leaf biomass, and leaf nutrient concentration (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Zn, Cu, Mn, and B) were determined at 28, 46, and 74 days after transplanting (DAT), and root length and root biomass were determined at 74 DAT. Inorganic fertilizer and MHC increased root biomass and root length with greater increases recorded at the higher MHC rates. Number of leaves, leaf area index, leaf biomass, and nutrient concentration were greater with application of inorganic fertilizer (28 DAT) and 30 t ha−1 (74 DAT) suggesting that the effect of organic soil amendments is more pronounced over the long run compared with inorganic fertilizers. The concentration of macronutrients in the leaf increased with application of MHC and inorganic fertilizer. Clearly, MHC may be beneficial in improving the leaf yield and nutrient uptake of Chinese cabbage in a loamy sand soil, but the effect varies with time of harvesting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nutrition and Fertilization of Horticultural Crops)
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11 pages, 271 KiB  
Article
Effects of Fertilizer Source and Rate on Zinnia Cut Flower Production in a High Tunnel
by Guihong Bi, Tongyin Li, Mengmeng Gu, William B. Evans and Mark Williams
Horticulturae 2021, 7(10), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7100333 - 23 Sep 2021
Viewed by 2494
Abstract
Sustainable nutrient management in high tunnel production is critical for optimizing crop yield and quality and improving soil health. In this study, we investigated the influence of different pre-plant composts (composted broiler litter, vemicompost, and cotton gin compost) in combination with different rates [...] Read more.
Sustainable nutrient management in high tunnel production is critical for optimizing crop yield and quality and improving soil health. In this study, we investigated the influence of different pre-plant composts (composted broiler litter, vemicompost, and cotton gin compost) in combination with different rates of organic or conventional fertilizer on zinnia plant growth, marketable yield of cut flower stems (>30 cm), and soil nutrients in a high tunnel over two years. Results showed that in general, pre-plant compost influenced plant growth, and plants that received composted broiler litter had the highest plant growth index. However, pre-plant compost did not affect the number of marketable cut stems. Fertigation during the growing season influenced the number of marketable cut stems. Comparable rates of nitrogen, from either organic or conventional fertilizer, produced similar numbers of marketable stems, suggesting that the organic fertilizer used in this study can be used as a fertilizer source for the production of zinnia cut flowers. After two years of production under the high tunnel, soil-extractable phosphorus, sodium, zinc, and pH significantly increased, suggesting that salt accumulation should be closely monitored in response to different compost or fertilizer sources with long-term production under high tunnels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nutrition and Fertilization of Horticultural Crops)
18 pages, 927 KiB  
Article
Interactive Effects of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Inoculation with Nano Boron, Zinc, and Molybdenum Fertilization on Stevioside Contents of Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana, L.) Plants
by Reda M. Y. Zewail, Maha Ali, Ibrahim S. H. El-Gamal, Sherine H. A. Al-Maracy, Khandakar R. Islam, Mohamed Elsadek, Ehab Azab, Adil A. Gobouri, Nihal ElNahhas, Mostafa H. M. Mohamed and Heba S. El-Desouky
Horticulturae 2021, 7(8), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7080260 - 22 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2723
Abstract
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana, L.) is receiving increasing global interest as a diabetes-focused herb associated with zero-calorie stevioside sweetener glycoside production. This study was conducted to determine whether the arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM), as a biofertilizer integrated with nano boron (B), zinc (Zn), [...] Read more.
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana, L.) is receiving increasing global interest as a diabetes-focused herb associated with zero-calorie stevioside sweetener glycoside production. This study was conducted to determine whether the arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM), as a biofertilizer integrated with nano boron (B), zinc (Zn), and molybdenum (Mo), would improve stevia growth and stevioside content. A factorial experiment with four replicates was conducted to evaluate the effect of AM at 0, 150, and 300 spore/g soil and three nano microelements B at 100 mg/L, Zn at 100 mg/L, and Mo at 40 mg/L on growth performance, stevioside, mineral contents, and biochemical contents of stevia. Results indicated that the combination of AM at 150 and B at 100 mg/L significantly increased plant height, number of leaves, fresh and dry-stem, and herbal g/plant during the 2019 and 2020 growing seasons. Chlorophyll content was increased by the combination between AM at 150 spore/g soil and B at 100 mg/L during both seasons. Stevioside content in leaves was increased by AM at 150 spore/g soil and B at 100 mg/L during the second season. In addition, N, P, K, Zn, and B in the leaf were increased by applying the combination of AM and nano microelements. Leaf bio constituent contents were increased with AM at 150 spore/g soil and B at 100 mg/L during both seasons. The application of AM and nano B can be exploited for high growth, mineral, and stevioside contents as a low-calorie sweetener product in stevia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nutrition and Fertilization of Horticultural Crops)
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8 pages, 229 KiB  
Article
Easily Extractable Glomalin-Related Soil Protein as Foliar Spray Improves Nutritional Qualities of Late Ripening Sweet Oranges
by Lu-Lu Meng, Sheng-Min Liang, Anoop Kumar Srivastava, Yan Li, Chun-Yan Liu, Ying-Ning Zou, Kamil Kuča, Abeer Hashem, Elsayed Fathi Abd_Allah and Qiang-Sheng Wu
Horticulturae 2021, 7(8), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7080228 - 5 Aug 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2833
Abstract
The role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in sweet oranges is well known, but the function of their secondary metabolite, especially the easily extractable glomalin-related soil protein (EE-GRSP), an active fraction of glomalin, is still unclear. The proposed study aimed to analyze the field [...] Read more.
The role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in sweet oranges is well known, but the function of their secondary metabolite, especially the easily extractable glomalin-related soil protein (EE-GRSP), an active fraction of glomalin, is still unclear. The proposed study aimed to analyze the field response of foliar application of exogenous EE-GRSP on tree mycorrhizal development and fruit quality of two sweet orange (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck) varieties viz., Lane Late Navel (LLN) and Rohde Red Valencia (RRV). Application of EE-GRSP significantly increased the root mycorrhizal colonization and soil mycorrhizal hyphal length in both the sweet orange varieties. The external quality of fruits (fruit weight, polar diameter, and equatorial diameter) also improved in response to foliar application of EE-GRSP in both sweet orange varieties. However, EE-GRSP treatment showed no change in fruit soluble solid content, while it increased the Vc content, solids-acid ratio, fructose, glucose, and sucrose content of sarcocarp in the two sweet oranges varieties. The LLN variety treated with EE-GRSP recorded significantly higher N, P, K, Fe, and Si content of sarcocarp as a mark of nutritional quality, while the RRV variety treated with EE-GRSP displayed a higher concentration of nutrients like Cu, Fe, Si, and Zn in the sarcocarp as compared with the corresponding non-treated control. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report regarding the improvement in fruit quality of late-ripening sweet oranges (especially LLN) in response to foliar application of EE-GRSP as another potential biostimulant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nutrition and Fertilization of Horticultural Crops)
12 pages, 433 KiB  
Article
Comparison on the Nutrient Plunder Capacity of Orychophragmus violaceus and Brassica napus L. Based on Electrophysiological Information
by Cheng Zhang, Yue Su, Yanyou Wu, Haitao Li, Ying Zhou and Deke Xing
Horticulturae 2021, 7(8), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7080206 - 21 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
The nutrient metabolism, growth and development of plants are strongly affected by its nutrient plunder, and plants have different adaptive mechanisms to low-nutrient environments. The electrophysiological activities involve almost all life processes of plants. In this study, the active transport flow of nutrient [...] Read more.
The nutrient metabolism, growth and development of plants are strongly affected by its nutrient plunder, and plants have different adaptive mechanisms to low-nutrient environments. The electrophysiological activities involve almost all life processes of plants. In this study, the active transport flow of nutrient (NAF) and nutrient plunder capacity (NPC) of plants were defined based on leaf intrinsic impedance (IZ), capacitive reactance (IXc), inductive reactance (IXL) and capacitance (IC) to evaluate the nutrient plunder capacity of plants for the first time. The results indicate that Orychophragmus violaceus had higher (p < 0.01) NPC and IC and lower (p < 0.01) IR, IXc, IXL and IZ as compared to Brassica napus L., which supports a superior ion affinity and that it could be better adapted to low-nutrient environments. UAF and NPC of plants exhibited good correlations with crude protein, crude ash and water content, and precisely revealed the plunder capacity and adaptive strategies of plants to nutrients. The present work highlights that O. violaceus had superior NPC and ion affinity compared with B. napus, and provided a novel, rapid, reliable method based on the plant’s electrophysiological information for real-time determination of the nutrient plunder capacity of plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nutrition and Fertilization of Horticultural Crops)
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Review

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13 pages, 569 KiB  
Review
Sap Analysis: A Powerful Tool for Monitoring Plant Nutrition
by Eduardo Esteves, Guilherme Locatelli, Neus Alcon Bou and Rhuanito Soranz Ferrarezi
Horticulturae 2021, 7(11), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7110426 - 22 Oct 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 11631
Abstract
Horticultural crop production is moving towards an era of higher nutrient use efficiency since nutrient deficiencies can reduce plant growth, productivity, and quality, and overfertilization can cause environmental pollution. Rapid nutrient concentration diagnostic is essential to minimize the negative effects of Huanglongbing (HLB) [...] Read more.
Horticultural crop production is moving towards an era of higher nutrient use efficiency since nutrient deficiencies can reduce plant growth, productivity, and quality, and overfertilization can cause environmental pollution. Rapid nutrient concentration diagnostic is essential to minimize the negative effects of Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening in citrus by providing the required nutrients before deficiency symptoms appear, reducing the impact of the disease on crop production. Sap analysis is an additional tool for fine-tuning nutrient applications in citrus. The main objective of this paper is to review the different methodologies and results obtained with sap analysis, considering its potential application in citrus production. Results from other crops show the pros and cons of using this tool. Substantial research has been conducted on vegetables and greenhouse crops, but few studies are available on perennial species such as citrus. Inconsistency in the extraction and analysis methods and the lack of specific sufficiency ranges for citrus open the path for further studies. Along with soil and leaf analyses, sap analysis is a complementary technique that can improve nutrient use efficiency in citrus production. Moreover, sap analysis has the potential to optimize fertilizer application, minimize environmental impacts and improve sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nutrition and Fertilization of Horticultural Crops)
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18 pages, 1003 KiB  
Review
A Narrative Review of the Facts and Perspectives on Agricultural Fertilization in Europe, with a Focus on Italy
by Arianna Latini, Germina Giagnacovo, Carlo Alberto Campiotti, Carlo Bibbiani and Susanna Mariani
Horticulturae 2021, 7(6), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae7060158 - 21 Jun 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3517
Abstract
Fertilizers stand at the base of current agricultural practices, providing the nutrient sustainment required for growing plants. Most fertilizers are synthetic chemicals, whose exploitation at very high levels poses a risk to cultivated land and the whole environment. They have several drawbacks including [...] Read more.
Fertilizers stand at the base of current agricultural practices, providing the nutrient sustainment required for growing plants. Most fertilizers are synthetic chemicals, whose exploitation at very high levels poses a risk to cultivated land and the whole environment. They have several drawbacks including soil degradation, water pollution, and human food safety. Currently, the urgent need to counterbalance these negative environmental impacts has opened the way for the use of natural and renewable products that may help to restore soil structure, microorganism communities, nutrient elements, and, in some cases, to positively enhance carbon soil sequestration. Here, we endeavor to reinforce the vision that effective strategies designed to mitigate negative anthropic and climate change impacts should combine, in appropriate proportions, solutions addressed to a lower and less energy intensive production of chemicals and to a more inclusive exploitation of renewable natural products as biological soil amendments. After drawing an overview of the agricultural energy demand and consumption of fertilizers in Europe in the last few years (with a particular focus on Italy), this narrative review will deal with the current and prospective use of compost, biochar, and neem cake, which are suitable natural products with well-known potential and still-to-be-discovered features, to benefit sustainable agriculture and be adopted as circular economic solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Nutrition and Fertilization of Horticultural Crops)
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