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Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2006  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 1113 - 1117

Nitrogen Storage and N-Use Efficiency of Maize as Influenced By Litter Quality and Placement Methods

M.B. Oyun    

Abstract: Nitrogen storage and N-use efficiency as influenced by litter quality and placement method was in investigated in nutrient deficient soil in Akure. Mixed fresh pruning of Gliricidia sepium (high quality) and Acacia auriculiformis (low quality) were mixed at varying proportion of 100:0 (Gliricidia: Acacia proportion); 80:20; 60:40; 40:60; 20:80; 0:100 and 0:0 (control) to simulate litter of varying quality. The mixed litter were mulched (above ground) or incorporated (below ground) around maize planted at an escapement of 90 x 30 cm (between and within rows). Maize plants were harvested at 4 weeks after planting (4 WAP); 6 WAP and 8 WAP and analysed for dry matter, N storage and N-use efficiency in the root, stem and the leaf. N storage by maize was improved with the application of various proportions of leaf residues and was significantly (p<0.005) higher than that in the control treatment. At the early stage of growth (4 WAP), maize plants mulched with 60:40 (Gliricidia: Acacia) leaf mixture showed the highest N storage for the root (0.170 g/plant). In the stem maize plants mulched with 100.0 and 0:100 proportions has a significantly (p<0.005) higher N storage which were 0.130 g/plant and 0.128 g/plant respectively. In the leaf, 80:20 and 0:100 mulch proportions had significant higher N storage. This similar trend was observed for N storage for maize in the root, stem and the leaf at 6 WAP. However, at maize maturity (8 WAP) which coincide with the grain production growth phase, the N storage as influenced by different litter quality was not significant in the root stem and leaf. At the early stage of growth (4 WAP), the N - use efficiency in the root, stem and the leaf improved with increased proportion of Gliricidia component when applied as mulch. However at later stages of growth (6 and 8 WAP), the N-use efficiency improved only with increased proportion of Acacia in the Gliricidia: Acacia leaf mixture.

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