Nitrogen (N) use efficiency (NUE) of crops is examined by taking into account both plantNuptake efficiency, focusing on the recovery of fertilizer-N, and the utilization efficiency of the absorbed N. The latter is further analyzed as the overall effect of the absorbed N on crop leaf area, light absorption, photosynthesis, crop growth, biomass partitioning, and yield. The main sources of variation for the NUE of crops are considered, and several of them are discussed based on results from field experiments carried out at the University of Perugia (central Italy) between 1991 and 2008 on sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum), lettuce (Lactuca sativa), and processing tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). More specifically, the effects of species, cultivar, fertilizer-N rate, form and application method (mineral and organic fertilization, green manuring, fertigation frequency), and sink limitation are reported. Implications for residual N in the soil and leaching risks are also discussed. The fertilizer-N rate is the main factor affecting crop NUE for a given irrigation management and rainfall regime. Indeed, avoiding over fertilization is the first and primary means to match a high use efficiency and economic return of fertilizer-N with limited environmental risks from nitrate leaching. The form and application method of fertilizer-N also may affect the NUE, especially in the case of limiting or overabundant N supply. Particularly, high fertigation frequency increased the recovery of fertilizer-N by the crop. It is suggested that species-specific curves for critical N concentration (i.e., the minimum N concentration that allows the maximum growth) can be the reference to calibrate the quick tests used to guide dynamic fertilization management, which is essential to achieve both the optimal crop N nutritional status and the maximum NUE.

The nitrogen use efficiency: meaning and sources of variation - Case Studies on Three Vegetable Crops in Central Italy

BENINCASA, Paolo;GUIDUCCI, Marcello;TEI, Francesco
2011

Abstract

Nitrogen (N) use efficiency (NUE) of crops is examined by taking into account both plantNuptake efficiency, focusing on the recovery of fertilizer-N, and the utilization efficiency of the absorbed N. The latter is further analyzed as the overall effect of the absorbed N on crop leaf area, light absorption, photosynthesis, crop growth, biomass partitioning, and yield. The main sources of variation for the NUE of crops are considered, and several of them are discussed based on results from field experiments carried out at the University of Perugia (central Italy) between 1991 and 2008 on sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum), lettuce (Lactuca sativa), and processing tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). More specifically, the effects of species, cultivar, fertilizer-N rate, form and application method (mineral and organic fertilization, green manuring, fertigation frequency), and sink limitation are reported. Implications for residual N in the soil and leaching risks are also discussed. The fertilizer-N rate is the main factor affecting crop NUE for a given irrigation management and rainfall regime. Indeed, avoiding over fertilization is the first and primary means to match a high use efficiency and economic return of fertilizer-N with limited environmental risks from nitrate leaching. The form and application method of fertilizer-N also may affect the NUE, especially in the case of limiting or overabundant N supply. Particularly, high fertigation frequency increased the recovery of fertilizer-N by the crop. It is suggested that species-specific curves for critical N concentration (i.e., the minimum N concentration that allows the maximum growth) can be the reference to calibrate the quick tests used to guide dynamic fertilization management, which is essential to achieve both the optimal crop N nutritional status and the maximum NUE.
2011
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/438095
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