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Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo

versión On-line ISSN 1806-9657


OLIVEIRA, Ermelinda Maria Mota et al. Nutrient supply by mass flow and diffusion to maize plants in response to soil aggregate size and water potential. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Solo [online]. 2010, vol.34, n.2, pp.317-328. ISSN 1806-9657.

Nutrients are basically transported to the roots by mass flow and diffusion. The aim of this study was to quantify the contribution of these two mechanisms to the acquisition of macronutrients (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, and S) and cationic micronutrients (Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu) by maize plants as well as xylem exudate volume and composition in response to soil aggregate size and water availability. The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse with samples of an Oxisol, from under two management systems: a region of natural savanna-like vegetation (Cerradão, CER) and continuous maize under conventional management for over 30 years (CCM). The treatments were arranged in a factorial [2 x (1 + 2) x 2] design, with two management systems (CER and CCM), (1 + 2) soil sifted through a 4 mm sieve and two aggregate classes (< 0.5 mm and 0.5 - 4.0 mm) and two soil matric potentials (-40 and -10 kPa). These were evaluated in a randomized block design with four replications. The experiment was conducted for 70 days after sowing. The influence of soil aggregate size and water potential on the nutrient transport mechanisms was highest in soil samples with higher nutrient concentrations in solution, in the CER system; diffusion became more relevant when water availability was higher and in aggregates < 0.5 mm. The volume of xylem exudate collected from maize plants increased with the decrease in aggregate size and the increased availability of soil water in the CER system. The highest Ca and Mg concentrations in the xylem exudate of plants grown on samples from the CER system were related to the high concentrations of these nutrients in the soil solution of this management system.

Palabras clave : Cerradão; continuous maize; soil water potential.

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