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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Accumulation and Redistribution of Mineral Elements in Common Vetch during Pod Filling


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 88 No. 5, p. 801-805
    Received: July 10, 1995

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. Rafael Caballero ,
  2. M. Arauzo and
  3. P. J. Hernaiz
  1. Finca Exp. la Poveda CCMA, CSIC, Ctr., de Campo Real km 1.300, 28500 Arganda de| Rey, Madrid, Spain



Common vetch (Vicia sativa L.) is an annual legume used for hay and grain. Field studies were conducted during two growing seasons (1991–1992 and 1992–1993) in a Mediterranean continental area of central Spain with the objectives of determining optimum harvest maturities for mineral composition and redistribution patterns of nutrient elements during seed-filling. Maturity stages were defined as progressively higher DM concentration in the seed (full bloom and 200–250, 250–300, 350–450, 450–550, 600–700, 700–800, and >800 g kg−1 seed DM). Concentrations of most mineral nutrients showed a decreasing trend with advancing maturity. Maximum accumulation of N, P, Cu, and Zn was reached at the end of the period of rapid seed growth (450–550 g kg−1 seed DM). These elements showed the greatest mobilization from vegetative structures, but did not supply the total needs for seed development during the phase of rapid seed growth. Potassium, Ca, and Mn showed the lowest level of remobilization to the seed, with maximum accumulation at the beginning of seed formation (200–250 g kg−1 seed DM). In this case, remobilization oversupplied the seed needs. When harvested for hay at the 450–550 g kg−1 seed DM, common vetch can return 30% of accumulated K, Ca, and Mn to the soil in unharvested biomass. If harvested for grain at maturity (>800 g kg−1 seed DM), only 30 to 40% of accumulated N, P, Cu, and Zn remained in the crop residue; however, 75 to 95% of accumulated K, Ca, Mg, Fe, and Mn remained. Both individual mineral nutrients accumulation-redistribution patterns and diverse uses of the aerial biomass must be considered in assessing common vetch mineral nutrient needs.

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