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Predicting nitrogen fertilizer needs for sugarcane and reactions of dissolved organic and mineral nitrogen in straw and soil from sugarcane fields

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Eduardo Mariano
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Piracicaba.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALA/BC)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Paulo Cesar Ocheuze Trivelin; Heitor Cantarella; Carlos Alberto Ceretta; José Eduardo Corá; Carlos Alexandre Costa Crusciol
Advisor: Paulo Cesar Ocheuze Trivelin

Recommendation of nitrogen (N) rates for sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) based upon soil testing is essential for increasing the sustainability of this agroecosystem. In addition, little is known about the dynamics of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) in the straw-soil transition zone in sugarcane fields. The influence of mineral N forms in the carbon (C) mineralization in this transitional region is also unknown. Thus, the objectives of this study were: i) correlate several methods to predict the soil mineralizable N with sugarcane N response parameters; ii) quantifying the C mineralization and sorption processes of DON compounds applied to straw and soil (both sampled in the transition zone); and iii) determine the C mineralization and mineral N content in straw and soil (from the transition zone) by addition of 14C-glucose with or without mineral sources of N. Between 2006 and 2013, 21 sugarcane N response trials were performed in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, to correlate biological, chemical, microbiological and isotopic (15N) methods with stalks yield (SYC) and total N uptake (NUC) in the control treatment, relative stalks yield (RSY) and the N rate required to achieve 90% of the RSY (NR 90% RSY). Soil sampling was performed at 0-20 and 20-40 cm depths. Weak correlations were detected between anaerobic incubation and the SYC, and the hot KCl extractable N and phosphate-borate buffer at pH 11.2 extractable N with NUC. Methods did not correlate with RSY and the NR 90% RSY. No method is recommended for adjusting N fertilizer rates for application on sugarcane ratoons in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. To study the reactions of DON and mineral N, straw and soil samples were collected in the transition region between the two materials, in two experimental sites located in the State of São Paulo. The C mineralization and sorption of 14C-labelled amino acids mix, peptides, urea and protein was performed by addition of the compounds in straw and soil. The C mineralization and mineral N content by the addition of 14C-glucose with or without mineral N forms (NH4+-N and NO3--N) was also checked. There are marked differences between straw and soil regarding to the DON dynamics, microbial community profile and N immobilization. In general, the 14C remaining of the applied DON compounds in the soil was higher when compared to the straw. Peptides and urea had a rapid C mineralization, while the protein sorption was higher in the soil than the straw. The use of 14C-glucose with NO3--N intensified 14C mineralization in the straw of both sites. There was an intense immobilization of NH4+-N, mainly in the sugarcane residue. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 11/07955-0 - Predicting nitrogen fertilizer needs for sugarcane and reactions of dissolved organic and mineral nitrogen in straw and soil from sugarcane fields
Grantee:Eduardo Mariano
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate