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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

On-line version ISSN 1806-9657


FARONI, Carlos Eduardo et al. Nutritional status of sugar cane (planted cane) in 15N experiments. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2009, vol.33, n.6, pp.1919-1927. ISSN 1806-9657.

Studies with stable isotopes are becoming more common due to the increased safety of operation and quality and reliability of results. However, the use of microplots is required to decrease the costs of such studies. Since microplots are small compared to regular plot areas, the purpose of this study was to investigate whether nutritional data based on microplot samples can adequately represent the whole area, in a comparison of the nutritional status of microplot sugar cane plants at their maximum development stage with those of the regular plots in experiments with N rates. Three experiments were set up, with three N rates (40, 80, and 120 kg ha-1 N) and a control, with four repetitions, in a randomized complete block design, in the state of São Paulo. Microplots of 3 m2 containing 15N-fertilizer (5.04% atom 15N) were included in the main plots formed by 48 lines of sugar cane spaced 1.5 m apart. At the time of maximum development stage, diagnostic leaves were collected in the main and microplots to evaluate the nutritional status of plants by analyzing the total concentration of macronutrients. There were no differences in N, P, Ca, Mg, and S concentrations in the diagnostic leaves from the main and microplots, so that the latter can be considered representative of the experimental area. Higher nitrogen fertilizer rates induced increased concentrations of not only N, but also of P, Ca, Mg, and S in the diagnostic leaves.

Keywords : diagnostic leaves; microplot; nitrogen fertilizer; macronutrients.

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