Electronic Journal of Polish Agricultural Universities (EJPAU) founded by all Polish Agriculture Universities presents original papers and review articles relevant to all aspects of agricultural sciences. It is target for persons working both in science and industry,regulatory agencies or teaching in agricultural sector. Covered by IFIS Publishing (Food Science and Technology Abstracts), ELSEVIER Science - Food Science and Technology Program, CAS USA (Chemical Abstracts), CABI Publishing UK and ALPSP (Association of Learned and Professional Society Publisher - full membership). Presented in the Master List of Thomson ISI.
2015
Volume 18
Issue 2
Topic:
Agronomy
ELECTRONIC
JOURNAL OF
POLISH
AGRICULTURAL
UNIVERSITIES
Szulc P. , Rybus-Zając M. , Jagła M. 2015. INFLUENCE OF MAIZE HYBRID TYPE (ZEA MAYS L.) AND N DOSE ON NITROGEN EUTROPHICATION OF THE ENVIRONMENT, EJPAU 18(2), #08.
Available Online: http://www.ejpau.media.pl/volume18/issue2/art-08.html

INFLUENCE OF MAIZE HYBRID TYPE (ZEA MAYS L.) AND N DOSE ON NITROGEN EUTROPHICATION OF THE ENVIRONMENT

Piotr Szulc1, Magdalena Rybus-Zając2, Małgorzata Jagła1
1 Department of Agronomy, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Poland
2 Department of Plant Physiology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Poland

 

ABSTRACT

The field experiment was carried out in the Department of Agronomy of the Poznań University of Life Sciences, in the fields of the Research and Education Unit in Swadzim, in the years 2012–2013. The study examined influence of maize hybrid type (Zea mays L.) and nitrogen doses on nitrogen eutrophication of the environment. The Nmin method was used for assessment of the amount of mineral nitrogen in soil after plant harvest. The N-NO3 form exhibited greater variability when compared to the N-NH4 form. The content of mineral nitrogen in soil after harvest of traditional cultivar SY Cooky was significantly higher in comparison with “stay-green” type cultivar Drim. The amount of Nmin increased in proportion to nitrogen dose. The amount of the nitrate nitrogen form (more susceptible to washing out) rapidly increased after exceeding the dose of 150 kg N·ha-1 when compared to the ammonium form.

Key words: stay-green (SG), maize, nitrogen, Nmin.

1. INTRODUCTION

A significant problem associated with plant production is effectiveness of nitrogen uptake by cultivated plants, measured with utilization of this element from mineral fertilizers [1]. The issue is very important because, on the one hand, nitrogen is an element of the greatest yielding importance [2], and, on the other hand, it is a nutrient that is ecologically the most dangerous [3]. Hence scientific research should concern determination of nitrogen doses which are biologically and economically substantiated taking into account factors affecting uptake and utilization of N from mineral fertilizers [4, 5]. A decrease in the amount of used nitrogen, optimization of its dose with other nutrients [6] or use according to the dynamics of demand for it can reduce soil eutrophication by this biogen [7]. Assessment of mineral nitrogen content in soil is used not only for improvement of effectiveness of fertilization with the nutrient. It is also considered to be an indicator of environmental risk resulting from its excessive concentration in soil [8]. Too high concentration of mineral nitrogen (Nmin) remaining in soil after harvest of cultivated plants is a potential threat to the natural environment. Adverse nitrogen effect takes place mainly after exceeding its optimal doses [9], when considerable accumulation of mineral nitrogen forms in soil results in soil contamination.

The aim of the study was to assess influence of maize hybrid type and nitrogen dose on nitrogen eutrophication of the environment measured with the amount of mineral nitrogen (Nmin) remaining after maize harvest.

2. MATERIALS AND METHODS

2.1. Field experiment
The field experiment was carried out in the Department of Agronomy of the Poznań University of Life Sciences, in the fields of the Research and Education Unit in Swadzim (52°26’20’’N, 16°44’58’’E), in the years 2012–2013. The experiment was in split-plot design with two experimental factors, in four field repetitions. The first experimental factor was type of maize hybrid: SY Cooky and Drim SG, while the second experimental factor was nitrogen dose ranging from 0 kg N·ha-1 to 300 kg N·ha-1, divided every 30 kg N·ha-1.

In the whole experimental field, the same mineral fertilization was used each year of the research prior to establishment of the experiment: nitrogen in the form of urea was applied according to the level of the second experimental factor, 80 kg P2O5 ha-1 (35.2 kg P ha-1) in the form of granular triple superphosphate 46% P2O5, 120 kg K2O ha-1 (99.6 kg K ha-1) in the form of 60% potassium salt. The field experiment was performed on lessive soil, of light loamy sands, lying in a shallow layer and belonging to the good rye complex [13]. Soil resources of basic macronutrients and soil pH in individual years of the experiment are given in Table 1.

Table 1. Soil condition at Swadzim
Specification
Years
2012
2013
P [mg P kg-1 of soil]
34.7
20.7
K [mg K kg-1 of soil]
43.3
68.2
Mg [mg Mg kg-1 of soil]
31.2
70.1
pH [in 1 mol dm-3 KCl]
5.8
6.0

2.2. Thermal and precipitation conditions
Description of weather conditions in the time of the research was based on the data from the meteorological station of the Department of Agronomy at the Research and Education Unit in Swadzim (Fig. 1). The highest mean daily air temperature during the vegetation season (April–October) was noted in 2013 (15.6°C), while the coldest vegetation season was observed in 2012 (15.1°C). Generally it can be concluded that thermal conditions in the years of the research were favourable for maize growth and development. Distinctly greater differences between the years of the research were observed in the amount, more specifically – in the distribution of precipitation (Fig. 1). The highest amount of precipitation during the vegetation season was noted in 2012 (473.6 mm), which was higher by as much as 76.3 mm in comparison with the amount of precipitation during the vegetation season in 2013.

 

Fig. 1. Thermal and precipitation conditions during maize vegetation seasons

2.3. Methods of analyses
Contents of mineral nitrogen in soil after maize harvest were assessed for two profiles (0–30 cm, 30–60 cm, 0–60 cm) according to the research procedure/standard (the Regional Chemical and Agricultural Station in Poznań):

N-NH4 – PB.50 ed. 6 of 17.10.2008,
N-NO3 – PB.50 ed. 6 of 17.10.2008.

Amount of Nmin kg·ha-1 = content of Nmin in mg·100 g-1 of dry matter * 45 [8],

where:
45 – coefficient for light soil.

2.4. Statistical analysis
Recorded results were analyzed statistically applying the analysis of variance for orthogonal factorial experiments and the analysis of variance in the split-plot system. Significance of variation of results was determined at the confidence level P = 0.95. The coefficient of variation of analyzed parameters of mineral nitrogen was calculated from the formula.

CV = (S/X) * 100%

where:
CV – coefficient of variation [%]
S – standard deviation,
X – arithmetic mean.

3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Variability of the analysed traits of the content of mineral nitrogen (Nmin) in the autumn after maize harvest, irrespective of the examined experimental factors, is presented in Table 2. The N-NO3 form exhibited greater variability when compared to the N-NH4 form at a depth of 0–30 cm (CV = 46.14%), 30–60 cm (CV = 45.58%) and 0–60 cm (CV = 45.36%).

Table 2. Variability of the analysed traits of mineral nitrogen (2012–2013)
Feature
Value of feature
Standard
deviation
Variation
coefficient
[%]
minimal
maximal
mean
[mg·100-1 of dry matter]
N-NH4 [0–30 cm]
0.23
0.66
0.38
0.094
24.2
N-NH4 [30–60 cm]
0.24
0.47
0.35
0.070
19.8
N-NH4 [0–60 cm]
0.47
1.13
0.74
0.159
21.5
N-NO3 [0–30 cm]
0.21
1.14
0.56
0.260
46.1
N-NO3 [30–60 cm]
0.28
1.09
0.50
0.230
45.5
N-NO3 [0–60 cm]
0.49
2.23
1.06
0.484
45.3
NH4NO3 [0–30 cm]
0.44
1.80
0.95
0.345
36.2
NH4NO3 [30–60 cm]
0.52
1.56
0.85
0.296
34.5
NH4NO3 [0–60 cm]
0.96
3.36
1.81
0.637
35.2

Mineral nitrogen form N-NH4 in soil profiles (0–30 cm, 30–60 cm, 0–60 cm) was significantly affected by nitrogen dose (Tab. 3). An increase in its dose ranging from 0 kg N·ha-1 to 300 kg N·ha-1 resulted in a significant linear increase in the content of this form of mineral nitrogen.

Table 3. Content of N-NH4 synthetically for the years of the research after maize harvest (2012–2013)
Specification
N-NH4
[mg·100-1 of dry matter]
[kg·ha-1]
0–30
30–60
0–60
0–30
30–60
0–60
Type of hybrid
SY Cooky
0.40
0.37
0.78
18.26
16.83
35.10
Drim SG
0.37
0.33
0.70
16.65
14.93
31.58
LSD 0.05
ns
ns
ns
ns
ns
ns
Dose of nitrogen
[kg·ha-1]
0
0.24
0.25
0.49
11.02
11.25
22.27
30
0.27
0.28
0.55
12.37
12.71
25.08
60
0.32
0.29
0.61
14.40
13.16
27.56
90
0.36
0.31
0.67
16.31
13.95
30.26
120
0.37
0.32
0.70
16.98
14.62
31.61
150
0.39
0.35
0.74
17.66
15.97
33.63
180
0.41
0.36
0.77
18.45
16.53
34.98
210
0.42
0.39
0.81
18.78
17.88
36.67
240
0.42
0.40
0.83
19.12
18.33
37.46
270
0.46
0.43
0.90
21.03
19.57
40.61
300
0.57
0.46
1.03
25.87
20.70
46.57
LSD 0.05
0.051
0.023
0.052
2.313
1.038
2.336
ns – difference non-significan

When the nitrate form (N-NO3) was considered, type of maize hybrid and nitrogen dose significantly affected its quantity (Tab. 4). Significantly less nitrate nitrogen in soil was found after harvest of cultivar Drim SG in comparison with traditional cultivar SY Cooky. Therefore selection of the “stay-green” type cultivar when compared to the traditional cultivar reduces nitrogen eutrophication of the natural environment with nitrate nitrogen. It results from different dynamics of nitrogen accumulation of a “stay-green” cultivar in comparison with a traditional cultivar. A “stay-green” type cultivar uptakes nitrogen to the very end of vegetation [10], which causes greater nitrogen utilization from a dose of mineral fertilizer [11]. The difference between the examined cultivar types was as follows: 9.98 kg N-NO3·ha-1 (0–30 cm), 6.88 kg N-NO3·ha-1 (30–60 cm) and 16.85 kg N-NO3·ha-1 (0–60 cm). An increase in mineral nitrogen dose from 0 kg N·ha-1 to 300 kg N·ha-1 caused a significant, linear increase in the content of N-NO3 in soil after maize harvest (Tab. 4).

Table 4. Content of N-NO3 synthetically for the years of the research after maize harvest (2012–2013)
Specification
N-NO3
[mg·100-1 of dry matter]
[kg·ha-1]
0–30
30–60
0–60
0–30
30–60
0–60
Type of hybrid
SY Cooky
0.67
0.58
1.25
30.35
26.18
56.53
Drim SG
0.45
0.42
0.88
20.37
19.30
39.68
LSD 0.05
0.158
0.114
0.239
4.471
3.901
7.834
Dose of nitrogen
[kg·ha-1]
0
0.25
0.28
0.54
11.36
12.93
24.30
30
0.33
0.32
0.65
14.85
14.51
29.36
60
0.40
0.34
0.74
18.00
15.63
33.63
90
0.43
0.37
0.80
19.35
16.65
36.00
120
0.45
0.39
0.84
20.36
17.77
38.13
150
0.47
0.42
0.89
21.37
19.01
40.38
180
0.54
0.48
1.02
24.30
21.60
45.90
210
0.67
0.56
1.24
30.37
25.42
55.80
240
0.80
0.65
1.45
36.00
29.47
65.47
270
0.87
0.70
1.57
39.37
31.50
70.87
300
0.97
1.01
1.98
43.65
45.67
89.32
LSD 0.05
0.199
0.243
0.387
8.960
10.95
17.435

In case of the content of the both forms of mineral nitrogen (N-NH4 and N-NO3), the same influence of the examined experimental factors was noted as for the nitrate form (Tab. 5). It was also noted that a lower amount of Nmin was found in soil after harvest of the “stay-green” type cultivar when compared to the traditional hybrid (Fig. 2). The presented result corresponds to the results previously obtained by Szulc [12]. The author investigated response of two different types of maize cultivars and demonstrated a lower amount of mineral nitrogen in the 0–60 cm soil layer after harvest of a “stay-green” type hybrid – by 28.1 kg Nmin.ha-1.

Table 5. Content of NH4NO3 synthetically for the years of the research after maize harvest (2012–2013)
Specification
NH4NO3
[mg·100-1 of dry matter]
[kg·ha-1]
0–30
30–60
0–60
0–30
30–60
0–60
Type of hybrid
SY Cooky
1.08
0.95
2.03
48.62
43.01
91.63
Drim SG
0.82
0.76
1.58
37.02
34.24
71.26
LSD 0.05
0.149
0.101
0.215
7.443
6.780
10.371
Dose of nitrogen 
[kg·ha-1]
0
0.49
0.53
1.03
22.38
24.18
46.57
30
0.60
0.60
1.21
27.22
27.22
54.45
60
0.72
0.64
1.36
32.40
28.80
61.20
90
0.79
0.68
1.47
35.66
30.60
66.26
120
0.83
0.72
1.55
37.35
32.40
69.75
150
0.86
0.77
1.64
39.03
34.98
74.02
180
0.95
0.84
1.79
42.75
38.13
80.88
210
1.09
0.96
2.05
49.16
43.31
92.47
240
1.22
1.06
2.28
55.12
47.81
102.93
270
1.34
1.13
2.47
60.41
51.07
111.48
300
1.54
1.47
3.02
69.52
66.37
135.90
LSD 0.05
0.221
0.235
0.409
9.974
10.617
18.430

Fig. 2. Difference in the content of Nmin after maize harvest between traditional cultivar SY Cooky and “stay-green” hybrid Drim (2012–2013)

The presented study also assessed the percentage content of N-NH4 and N-NO3 forms in the total amount of mineral nitrogen (Nmin) after maize harvest (Fig. 3, Fig. 4). In the autumn, after harvest of the “stay-green” type cultivar, the content of the N-NO3 form in soil was lower in comparison with the traditional hybrid. That regularity was observed at all depths of sample collection (Fig. 3). However, when influence of nitrogen dose on the percentage content of the nitrate and ammonium form in the total amount of mineral nitrogen in soil profiles was concerned, it was demonstrated that together with an increase in nitrogen dose, the content of the N-NO3 form rise, while the content of the N-NH4 form decreased (Fig. 4). Generally it should be stated that the content of the nitrate nitrogen form rapidly increased after exceeding the dose of 150 kg N·ha-1 when compared to the ammonium form (Fig. 5).

Fig. 3. Influence of maize hybrid type on the percentage content of the N-NH4 and N-NO3 form in the total amount of Nmin (2012–2013)

Fig. 4. Influence of nitrogen dose on the percentage content of the N-NH4 and N-NO3 form in the total amount of Nmin at a depth of 0–30 cm (A), 30–60 cm (B), 0–60 cm (C) – (2012–2013)

Fig. 5. Difference between the percentage content of the N-NO3 and N-NH4 form in the total amount of Nmin in soil after maize harvest (2012–2013)

4. SUMMARY

Irrespective of the depth of soil profile, greater variability was exhibited by the N-NO3 form when compared to the N-NH4 form. Lower nitrogen eutrophication of the natural environment after plant harvest was observed for the “stay-green” hybrid in comparison with the traditional cultivar. The content of mineral nitrogen in soil profiles (0–30 cm, 30–60 cm and 0–60 cm) increased together with growing nitrogen dose. The content of the nitrate nitrogen form (more susceptible to washing out) rapidly increased after exceeding the dose of 150 kg N·ha-1 when compared to the ammonium form.

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Accepted for print: 16.06.2015


Piotr Szulc
Department of Agronomy, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Poland
Dojazd 11
60-632 Poznań
Poland
email: pszulc@up.poznan.pl

Magdalena Rybus-Zając
Department of Plant Physiology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Poland
Wołyńska 35
60-637 Poznań
Poland

Małgorzata Jagła
Department of Agronomy, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Poland
Dojazd 11
60-632 Poznań
Poland

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