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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Accumulation and Redistribution of Fertilizer Nitrogen-15 in Soft Red Winter Wheat


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 61 No. 5, p. 1407-1412
    Received: Nov 8, 1996

    * Corresponding author(s): rnorman@comp.uark.edu
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  1. R. Bashir,
  2. R. J. Norman ,
  3. R. K. Bacon and
  4. B. R. Wells
  1. Department of Agronomy, 115 Plant Science, Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701



Information is lacking on N accumulation in soft red winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and the fate of residual fertilizer N in soil. The objectives of this study were to determine the uptake and redistribution of fertilizer and total N within the wheat plant as well as the amount and distribution of fertilizer N in the soil profile at wheat maturation. Urea-15N was applied at the rate of 112 kg N ha−1 at tillering. Plant samples were taken at six growth stages and partitioned into top and bottom leaf blades, stem + leaf sheaths, and spikes, and analyzed for total and fertilizer N accumulation. Soil samples were taken at wheat harvest and analyzed for total N and fertilizer N recovery in inorganic, organic, and total N fractions. Nitrogen accumulation in the wheat plants increased until flag leaf emergence and then displayed no significant change during later growth stages or at maturity. Leaf blades and stem + leaf sheaths attained maximum N accumulation at flag leaf emergence and heading, respectively. Spikes continued to accumulate N from heading until maturity. Nitrogen loss from the leaf blades and stem + leaf sheaths exceeded N gain in the spikes. A maximum fertilizer N accumulation of 74.4% in the wheat plants was found by the flag leaf stage and then the fertilizer N accumulation steadily declined to only 46.7% by maturity. Fertilizer N accumulation for plant parts was similar to total N accumulation; however, significant fertilizer N losses occurred after flag leaf emergence. Fertilizer N recovered in the 0- to 100-cm soil layer following harvest was only 11.6% of that applied and was mainly concentrated in the organic fraction of the top 10 cm of soil.

Published with the approval of the director, Arkansas Agric. Exp. Stn., manuscript no. 97041.

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