Fate of N-15-Labeled Potassium Nitrate in Different Citrus-Cultivated Soils: Influence of Spring and Summer Application
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AutorQuinones,Ana; Martínez-Alcántara,Belén; Miguel Martinez,J.; Angeles Forner-Giner,M.; Iglesias,Domingo J.; Primo-Millo,Eduardo; Legaz,Francisco
The fate of N-15-labeled potassium nitrate (8.5% N-15 excess) was determined in 3-year-old Valencia orange trees grown in 1-m(3) containers filled with different textured soils (sandy and loamy). The trees were fertilized either in spring (24 March) or summer (24 July). Spring fertilized trees gave higher fruit yields in sandy than in loamy soils, which exceeded summer fertilized trees in both cases. Summer fertilized trees had greater leaf biomass than spring fertilized trees. Fibrous root weight was 1.9-fold higher in sandy than in loamy soil. At the end of the cycle, tree N recovery from spring application was 45.7% for sandy and 37.7% for loamy soil; from summer fertilization, N recovery was 58.9% and 51.5% for sandy and loamy soils, respectively. The N-15 recovered in the inorganic soil fraction (0-90 cm) was higher for loamy (1.3%) than for sandy soil (0.4%). Fertilizer N immobilized in the organic matter was lower in sandy (2.5%) than in loamy soil (6.0%). Potential nitrate leaching from fertilizer ((NO)-N-15 (3) (-) -N in the 90-110-cm soil layer plus (NO)-N-15 (3) (-) -N in drainage water) was 34.8% higher in sandy than in loamy soil. The low N levels in sandy soil resulted from both higher NO (3) (-) -N leaching losses and higher N uptake of plants grown in the former. The great root mass and higher soil temperatures could account for raised plant N uptake in sandy soil and in summer, respectively.