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Chilean journal of agricultural research

versión On-line ISSN 0718-5839


ESPINOZA, Soledad et al. Contribution of legumes to the availability of soil nitrogen and its uptake by wheat in Mediterranean environments of central Chile. Chilean J. Agric. Res. [online]. 2015, vol.75, n.1, pp.111-121. ISSN 0718-5839.

The absorption and partitioning of N is determined by its availability and demand during the various phenological stages of the crop. In two experiments conducted in rainfed areas of the Mediterranean climate region of central Chile, legume-wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) rotations were compared to oat (Avena sativa L.)-wheat systems (with and without applications of N fertilizer). The objective was to assess the contribution of legumes to the availability of soil N and N uptake by the wheat crop following grain legumes. N mineralization and uptake, N use efficiency (NUE), and N uptake efficiency (NUpE) by wheat were evaluated at different phenological stages in 2010. Synchronization existed between accumulated soil N mineralization and N uptake by the wheat. N uptake by wheat was higher in Experiment II (Andean foothill) than in Experiment I (interior dryland). Grain yields after legumes ranged 60-110% and 72-103% of yields in the fertilized cereal rotation (oat-wheat) in Experiments I and II, respectively. There was high correlation between soil N availability vs. grain yield (R2 = 0.84 and 0.64) and N uptake vs. grain yield (R2 = 0.55 and 0.64) for Experiments I and II, respectively. Rotations with lupine (Lupinus spp.) and field peas (Pisum sativum L.) showed high NUE and NUpE in Experiment I, and Experiment II in pea. The lowest NUE was after oats with N fertilizers. It is concluded that wheat cultivated in both agro-ecological areas after grain legumes or green manure was more efficient in N uptake and use than cereal, especially when the latter was fertilized.

Palabras clave : Alfisol; Andisol; crop rotation; field peas; lupins; N uptake; oat; Triticum aestivum; vetch.

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