Fate and effects on yield components of extra applications of nitrogen on spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown in solution culture

Oscarson, P.; Lundborg, T.; Larsson, M.; Larsson, C.M.

Plant and Soil 175(2): 179-188

1995


ISSN/ISBN: 0032-079X
DOI: 10.1007/bf00011353
Accession: 002619423

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Abstract
Spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) was grown with daily additions of nitrate-N. The relative addition rate of nitrate-N was decreased stepwise, and after 125 days of growth, 58 mg N plant-1 had been introduced. The fate and effect of an extra addition of nitrate (20 mg N plant-1) at six different times during the ontogeny (37, 54, 66, 79, 94 and 108 days from sowing) on grain yield and grain protein concentration was investigated. The plants absorbed all or most of the extra nitrate at all stages of development evaluated. Dry matter production of both aerial vegetative parts and grains, but not roots, generally increased as a result of the extra nitrate addition. The increase in grain dry matter was mainly an effect of an increased number of grains per plant. Extra nitrate applications had large effects on grain nitrogen content at all stages, but the effect on main shoot and tiller ears varied depending on the time of application. Early applications, i.e. before anthesis, mainly led to increased yield with unchanged protein concentration whereas late applications also led to increased grain protein concentration. The largest effect on grain nitrogen concentration (25-30% increase) was obtained when the extra nitrate was applied late after sowing, i.e. less than four weeks before final harvest. As the extra dose of nitrate was labelled with 15N, it was possible to follow the movement of the extra nitrogen addition within the plant. Samples were taken at one and five days after 15N-addition and at final harvest. There were differences in the movement of 15N depending on when it was introduced. Generally, net movement of the 15N-labelled N into the grain increased with age at application until 94 days after sowing when a maximum of 90% of the added 15N ended up in the grain.

Fate and effects on yield components of extra applications of nitrogen on spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown in solution culture