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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

On-line version ISSN 1806-9657


BOER, Carlo Adriano et al. Biomass, decomposition and soil cover by residues of three plant species in central- western Brazil. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2008, vol.32, n.2, pp.843-851. ISSN 1806-9657.

With the prevalence of no-till systems in Central-Western Brazil, a more in-depth knowledge about cover crops for straw production is necessary. The objective of this study was to evaluate the green and dry biomass production, the percentage of soil cover, as well as the dynamics of residues decomposition of three cover crop species, in the second growing season of the cropping year: amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus L. BRS Alegria), pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L. var. ADR500) and finger millet [Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn.]. The experiment was conducted on a clay texture Dusky Red Latosol (Oxisol). The experimental design consisted of randomized blocks in a split-plot design, with four replications.. The cover crop species were allocated in the main plots and the nine evaluation periods (0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 210, and 240 days) were allocated to the split-plots. Proportional samples of dry matter of each cover crop species were packed in litter bags and distributed across the plot surfaces. Samples were were collected every 30 days and weighed in order to evaluated the dynamics of decomposition after cover crop. Fresh and dry biomass yields, and soil surface cover were greater for pearl millet ADR500 and finger millet, whereas dry matter decomposition rates were lower, with no differences between the two species. The C/N ratio was higher in pearl millet ADR500, followed by finger millet and amaranth. The decreasing exponential and sigmoidal models were adjusted, respectively, for residue decomposition and soil surface cover along the time. The decomposition rate and soil surface cover for pearl millet ADR500 and finger millet were similar, and they did not differ based on values estimated through the adjusted models.

Keywords : no-till; litter bag; modeling; nutrient release; half-life.

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