Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo
versão impressa ISSN 0100-0683
VITTI, André Cesar et al. Straw mineralization and root growth of sugar cane as related to nitrogen fertilization at planting. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2008, vol.32, n.spe, pp. 2757-2762. ISSN 0100-0683. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-06832008000700020.
The experiment was conducted with the sugar cane variety SP81 3250, in a commercial area of the sugar mill São Martinho (Pradópolis-SP), on a clay-texture Rhodic eutrustox. The experimental had a randomized block design with four replications. Bags containing straw enriched with 15N (1.07 % 15N atoms) equivalent to 9 t ha-1 dry matter were placed on the soil surface between the sugar cane plant rows in all treatments (0, 40, 80 and 120 kg ha-1 of N). After 14 months (from June 2005 to August 2006) the bags were removed to quantify the remaining dry material, determine total N and C, and 15N isotopic concentration by mass spectrometry. Results indicated that straw decomposition was higher in the N fertilized treatments and that the mass balance underestimated the N amounts released from straw. The isotopic technique showed that after 14 months, between 37 and 65 % of the dry mass of the straw remaining on the soil surface came from the live sugar cane rooting system or from microorganisms and soil residues adhered to the straw. This suggests that the processes that occur during straw decomposition are more dynamic than those evaluated by mass-balance equations.
Palavras-chave : Saccharum spp.; nitrogen; isotopic technique.