Nitrogen uptake, fixation and response to fertilizer N in soybeans: A review

Nitrogen uptake, fixation and response to fertilizer N in soybeans: A review Although relationships among soybean ( Glycine max (L.) Merr) seed yield, nitrogen (N) uptake, biological N 2 fixation (BNF), and response to N fertilization have received considerable coverage in the scientific literature, a comprehensive summary and interpretation of these interactions with specific emphasis on high yield environments is lacking. Six hundred and thirty-seven data sets (site–year–treatment combinations) were analyzed from field studies that had examined these variables and had been published in refereed journals from 1966 to 2006. A mean linear increase of 0.013 Mg soybean seed yield per kg increase in N accumulation in aboveground biomass was evident in these data. The lower (maximum N accumulation) and upper (maximum N dilution) boundaries for this relationship had slopes of 0.0064 and 0.0188 Mg grain kg −1 N, respectively. On an average, 50–60% of soybean N demand was met by biological N 2 fixation. In most situations the amount of N fixed was not sufficient to replace N export from the field in harvested seed. The partial N balance (fixed N in aboveground biomass − N in seeds) was negative in 80% of all data sets, with a mean net soil N mining of −40 kg N ha −1 . However, when an average estimated belowground N contribution of 24% of total plant N was included, the average N balance was close to neutral (−4 kg N ha −1 ). The gap between crop N uptake and N supplied by BNF tended to increase at higher seed yields for which the associated crop N demand is higher. Soybean yield was more likely to respond to N fertilization in high-yield (>4.5 Mg ha −1 ) environments. A negative exponential relationship was observed between N fertilizer rate and N 2 fixation when N was applied on the surface or incorporated in the topmost soil layers. Deep placement of slow-release fertilizer below the nodulation zone, or late N applications during reproductive stages, may be promising alternatives for achieving a yield response to N fertilization in high-yielding environments. The results from many N fertilization studies are often confounded by insufficiently optimized BNF or other management factors that may have precluded achieving BNF-mediated yields near the yield potential ceiling. More studies will be needed to fully understand the extent to which the N requirements of soybean grown at potential yields levels can be met by optimizing BNF alone as opposed to supplementing BNF with applied N. Such optimization will require evaluating new inoculant technologies, greater temporal precision in crop and soil management, and most importantly, detailed measurements of the contributions of soil N, BNF, and the efficiency of fertilizer N uptake throughout the crop cycle. Such information is required to develop more reliable guidelines for managing both BNF and fertilizer N in high-yielding environments, and also to improve soybean simulation models. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Field Crops Research Elsevier

Nitrogen uptake, fixation and response to fertilizer N in soybeans: A review

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Elsevier B.V.
ISSN
0378-4290
eISSN
1872-6852
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.fcr.2008.03.001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Although relationships among soybean ( Glycine max (L.) Merr) seed yield, nitrogen (N) uptake, biological N 2 fixation (BNF), and response to N fertilization have received considerable coverage in the scientific literature, a comprehensive summary and interpretation of these interactions with specific emphasis on high yield environments is lacking. Six hundred and thirty-seven data sets (site–year–treatment combinations) were analyzed from field studies that had examined these variables and had been published in refereed journals from 1966 to 2006. A mean linear increase of 0.013 Mg soybean seed yield per kg increase in N accumulation in aboveground biomass was evident in these data. The lower (maximum N accumulation) and upper (maximum N dilution) boundaries for this relationship had slopes of 0.0064 and 0.0188 Mg grain kg −1 N, respectively. On an average, 50–60% of soybean N demand was met by biological N 2 fixation. In most situations the amount of N fixed was not sufficient to replace N export from the field in harvested seed. The partial N balance (fixed N in aboveground biomass − N in seeds) was negative in 80% of all data sets, with a mean net soil N mining of −40 kg N ha −1 . However, when an average estimated belowground N contribution of 24% of total plant N was included, the average N balance was close to neutral (−4 kg N ha −1 ). The gap between crop N uptake and N supplied by BNF tended to increase at higher seed yields for which the associated crop N demand is higher. Soybean yield was more likely to respond to N fertilization in high-yield (>4.5 Mg ha −1 ) environments. A negative exponential relationship was observed between N fertilizer rate and N 2 fixation when N was applied on the surface or incorporated in the topmost soil layers. Deep placement of slow-release fertilizer below the nodulation zone, or late N applications during reproductive stages, may be promising alternatives for achieving a yield response to N fertilization in high-yielding environments. The results from many N fertilization studies are often confounded by insufficiently optimized BNF or other management factors that may have precluded achieving BNF-mediated yields near the yield potential ceiling. More studies will be needed to fully understand the extent to which the N requirements of soybean grown at potential yields levels can be met by optimizing BNF alone as opposed to supplementing BNF with applied N. Such optimization will require evaluating new inoculant technologies, greater temporal precision in crop and soil management, and most importantly, detailed measurements of the contributions of soil N, BNF, and the efficiency of fertilizer N uptake throughout the crop cycle. Such information is required to develop more reliable guidelines for managing both BNF and fertilizer N in high-yielding environments, and also to improve soybean simulation models.

Journal

Field Crops ResearchElsevier

Published: Jul 11, 2008

References

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