In conservation tillage systems based on legume mulches it is important to optimize N management strategies. The present study evaluated the effect of some winter legume cover crops converted into mulches on the following no-tillage tomato (Solanum Lycopersicum L.) yield, tomato nitrogen uptake, tomato use efficiency (NUE), soil nitrate and the apparent N remaining in the soil (ARNS) in a Mediterranean environment. Field experiments were carried out from 2002 to 2004 in a tomato crop transplanted into: four different types of mulches coming from winter cover crops [hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.), subclover (Trifolium subterranem L.), snail medic (Medicago scutellata L. Miller), and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.)]; a conventional tilled soil (CT); and a no-tilled bare soil (NT). All treatments were fertilized with three different levels of nitrogen (N) fertilizer (0, 75, and 150 kgNha−1). Cover crop aboveground biomass at cover crop suppression ranged from 4.0 to 6.7 t ha−1 of DM and accumulated from 54 to 189 kgNha−1, hairy vetch showed the highest values followed by subclover, snail medic and ryegrass. The marketable tomato yield was higher in no-tilled legume mulched soil compared to no-tilled ryegrass mulched soil, CT, and NT (on average 84.8 vs 68.7 t ha−1 of FM, respectively) and it tended to rise with the increase of the N fertilization level. A similar trend was observed on tomato N uptake. Hairy vetch mulch released the highest amount of N during tomato cultivation followed by subclover, snail medic, and ryegrass (on average 141, 96, 90 and 33 kgNha−1). The tomato NUE tended to decrease with the increase of the N fertilization rates, it ranged from 39 to 60% in no-tilled legume mulched soil and from −59 to 30% in no-tilled ryegrass mulched soil when compared to the CT. The soil NO3-N content and the ARNS was always higher in the soil mulched with legumes compared to the soil mulched with ryegrass and in NT and CT. This study shows that direct transplanting into mulches coming from winter legume cover crops could be useful for improving the yield and the N-uptake in a no-tillage tomato crop. Furthermore, considering the high N content in the upper soil layer and the remaining N content in the organic mulch residues after tomato harvesting, there is a large amount of N potentially available which could be immediately used by an autumn–winter cash crop.

Influence of no-tillage and organic mulching on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) production and nitrogen use in the Mediterranean environment of central Italy

RADICETTI E
Ultimo
2011

Abstract

In conservation tillage systems based on legume mulches it is important to optimize N management strategies. The present study evaluated the effect of some winter legume cover crops converted into mulches on the following no-tillage tomato (Solanum Lycopersicum L.) yield, tomato nitrogen uptake, tomato use efficiency (NUE), soil nitrate and the apparent N remaining in the soil (ARNS) in a Mediterranean environment. Field experiments were carried out from 2002 to 2004 in a tomato crop transplanted into: four different types of mulches coming from winter cover crops [hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.), subclover (Trifolium subterranem L.), snail medic (Medicago scutellata L. Miller), and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.)]; a conventional tilled soil (CT); and a no-tilled bare soil (NT). All treatments were fertilized with three different levels of nitrogen (N) fertilizer (0, 75, and 150 kgNha−1). Cover crop aboveground biomass at cover crop suppression ranged from 4.0 to 6.7 t ha−1 of DM and accumulated from 54 to 189 kgNha−1, hairy vetch showed the highest values followed by subclover, snail medic and ryegrass. The marketable tomato yield was higher in no-tilled legume mulched soil compared to no-tilled ryegrass mulched soil, CT, and NT (on average 84.8 vs 68.7 t ha−1 of FM, respectively) and it tended to rise with the increase of the N fertilization level. A similar trend was observed on tomato N uptake. Hairy vetch mulch released the highest amount of N during tomato cultivation followed by subclover, snail medic, and ryegrass (on average 141, 96, 90 and 33 kgNha−1). The tomato NUE tended to decrease with the increase of the N fertilization rates, it ranged from 39 to 60% in no-tilled legume mulched soil and from −59 to 30% in no-tilled ryegrass mulched soil when compared to the CT. The soil NO3-N content and the ARNS was always higher in the soil mulched with legumes compared to the soil mulched with ryegrass and in NT and CT. This study shows that direct transplanting into mulches coming from winter legume cover crops could be useful for improving the yield and the N-uptake in a no-tillage tomato crop. Furthermore, considering the high N content in the upper soil layer and the remaining N content in the organic mulch residues after tomato harvesting, there is a large amount of N potentially available which could be immediately used by an autumn–winter cash crop.
2011
Campiglia, E; Mancinelli, R; Radicetti, E
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2459067
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