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Revista Ciência Agronômica

On-line version ISSN 1806-6690


GIONGO, Vanderlise; MENDES, Alessandra Monteiro Salviano; CUNHA, Tony Jarbas Ferreira  and  GALVAO, Sandra Regina Silva. The decomposition and release of nutrients by plant mixtures in the Brazilian semi-arid regions. Rev. Ciênc. Agron. [online]. 2011, vol.42, n.3, pp.611-618. ISSN 1806-6690.

The decomposition and release of nutrients from plant residues can play an important role in the maintenance of soil fertility in semi-arid regions. Thus this study aimed to evaluate the rate of decomposition of dry matter (DM) and the release of carbon (C) and nutrients from plant mixtures used as green manure in the Brazilian Semi-arid regions. The experiment was carried out in a greenhouse, from November 2007 to July 2008, using plant mixtures made up of leguminous species (L) (calopo, Crotalaria juncea, Crotalaria spectabilis, jackbean, pigeon pea, lab-lab) and non-leguminous species (NL) (sesame, sunflower, castor, millet and sorghum) combined to give the following treatments: T1 - 100% NL, T2 - 100% L, T3 - 75% L and 25% NL, T4 - 50% L and 50% NL, T5 - 25% L and 75% NL. The rates of decomposition and the release of nutrients were monitored through collection of the residue at 8; 15; 30; 60; 90; 120; 150; 180 and 210 days after the beginning of the experiment. A randomized-block design was used, with three replications. The mixtures showed similar decomposition rates of DM and nutrient release, except for Ca, Cu and Mn, where the mixtures composed predominantly of NL species showed a higher release rate./ From the average values of k for all of the mixtures, it was possible to establish the following order of release of macronutrients: K> N> Ca> Mg> P and micronutrients: Fe> Mn> Cu> Zn> B.

Keywords : Green manure; Macronutrients; Micronutrients; Organic carbon; Mineralization rate.

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