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Biomass and capture of nitrogen of cultivars of Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC. and its decomposition in soil

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Authors: M. Villarreal-Romero, S. Parra-Terraza, S. Hernández-Verdugo, T. Osuna-Enciso, P. Sánchez-Peña, A. Angulo-Castro y R. Pinto-Ruiz
Issue: 110-1 (18-33)
Topic: Plant Production
Keywords: Cover crops, N2-fixation, nitrogen liberation in the soil.

The practice of cultivation of legumes to manure to the soil and benefit to the subsequent crop of economic interest, need to know the rate of decomposition and release of nitrogen from its produced biomass; therefore, the objective of this work was to determine the capacity of biomass production, accumulation and fixation of atmospheric nitrogen of three cultivars of Mucuna pruriens, as well as determine the pattern of decomposition and release into to the soil. The work was carried out in a Typic Huplustert soil under field conditions of Culiacan Valley, Sinaloa, Mexico. The experimental design was a split plot in randomized blocks with four replications. The cultivars of mucuna produced similar amount of biomass and showed comparable capacity for accumulation of nitrogen in their foliage and atmospheric nitrogen fixation. No significant difference was observed between cultivars, within same incubation times, in the pattern of decay and release of nitrogen in the soil of their foliage. In all three cultivars of mucuna was observed that decomposition rate and nitrogen liberation from foliage was, comparatively to the rest of the incubation times, higher in the first 15 days of incubation applied to 20 cm deep and 15-30 days when applied to the soil surface. The amount of biomass produced, the amount of nitrogen accumulated in the foliage and the nitrogen fixed from the atmosphere by the three studied cultivars of Mucuna pruriens, demonstrates its ability to establish itself as ground cover crops in Culiacan Valley, Sinaloa, Mexico.

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