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Scientia Agricola

On-line version ISSN 1678-992X


SCIVITTARO, Walkyria Bueno; MURAOKA, Takashi; BOARETTO, Antonio Enedi  and  TRIVELIN, Paulo César Ocheuze. Fate of nitrogen (15N) from velvet bean in the soil-plant system. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2004, vol.61, n.2, pp.210-215. ISSN 1678-992X.

Because of their potential for N2 biological fixation, legumes are an alternative source of nitrogen to crops, and can even replace or supplement mineral fertilization. A greenhouse experiment was carried out to evaluate temporal patterns of velvet bean (Mucuna aterrima) green manure release of nitrogen to rice plants, and to study the fate of nitrogen from velvet bean in rice cultivation. The isotopic dilution methodology was used. Treatments consisted of a control and 10 incubation periods of soil fertilized with 15N-labeled velvet bean (0, 20, 40, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 210, and 240 days). The plant material was previously chopped, sifted (10 mm mesh sieve) and oven-dried (65ºC). Incubation of the plant material (2.2 g kg-1 soil) was initiated by the longest period, in order to synchronize the planting of the test crop, rice (Oryza sativa), at time zero for all treatments. Green manure incorporation promoted increases in rice dry matter yield and nitrogen uptake. These variables showed maximum values at incubation periods of 38 and 169 days, respectively. Green manure nitrogen utilization by rice plants was highest at an incubation period corresponding to 151 days. More than 60% of the green manure nitrogen remained in the soil after rice cultivation. The highest green manure nitrogen recovery from the soil-plant system occurred at an incubation period equivalent to 77 days.

Keywords : Mucuna aterrima; effectiveness; recovery; losses.

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