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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - SOIL FERTILITY & PLANT NUTRITION

Soil and Plant Indices for Predicting Eucalypt Response to Nitrogen in Uruguay


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 71 No. 6, p. 1708-1718
    Received: Aug 18, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): chperdom@fagro.edu.uy
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  1. Carlos Perdomo *,
  2. José Durán and
  3. Pablo Llovet
  1. Universidad de la República, Facultad de Agronomía, Garzón 780, Montevideo, Uruguay CP12900


Eucalypt plantations have been increasingly fertilized with N applied postplanting in Uruguay, but information on the benefits of the practice is scarce. The objective of this study was to identify the N availability indices (NAI) able to differentiate responsive from unresponsive sites when N was applied to eucalypts 6 or 12 mo after planting (MAP). The NAI were based on soil and plant analyses. Volume yield response to N was evaluated in 20 experiments conducted in plantations of Eucalyptus globulus Labille and E. grandis Hill ex Maiden. The NAI were related to volume response expressions by using linear and quadratic-plateau models, and the model with the highest R 2 was selected. Leaf N concentration (LNC) was the NAI most strongly related to N response in both E. grandis fertilized at 6 MAP (seven sites) and E. globulus fertilized at 12 MAP (six sites) and the estimated critical levels were 34.6 and 20.9 g kg−1, respectively. None of the NAI could be selected in the E. globulus sites fertilized at 6 MAP, but soil mineralizable N (NMIN) was clearly related to N response when all E. globulus sites were pooled (12 sites), resulting in a critical level of 109 mg N kg−1 Although the R 2 of the models describing relationships between the selected NAI and N response varied from 0.52 to 0.94, most NAI separated responsive from unresponsive sites. The results suggest that LNC and NMIN can be used as tools to improve prediction of the early eucalypt volume response to N in Uruguay.

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