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Effects of soil acidity and water stress on corn and soybean performance under a no-till system

Abstract

Background and Aims

Field studies have demonstrated that aluminum (Al) toxicity is low in no-till systems during cropping seasons that have adequate and well-distributed rainfall. This study evaluated the performance of corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill) on an acid loamy soil under a long-term no-till system, in response to surface liming and as affected by genotypic tolerance to Al and water stress.

Methods

A field trial examined the effect of surface application of lime (0, 4, 8, and 12 Mg ha−1) on no-till corn and soybean nutrition and yield. Trials were also carried out in undisturbed soil columns taken from the unlimed and limed plots. Two hybrids/cultivars of corn and soybean, one sensitive and the other moderately sensitive to Al were grown at two soil moisture levels with and without water stress (50 % and 80 % water filled pore space).

Results

Alleviating soil acidity by liming improved nutrition and increased grain yields of corn and soybean. The benefits of liming on root length density, nutrient uptake and shoot biomass production of corn and soybean were more pronounced in Al-sensitive genotypes under water stress.

Conclusions

The results suggest that plants exposed to drought stress under no-till systems are more affected by Al toxicity.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to CNPq and to CAPES for supporting this research and providing scholarships to the authors.

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Correspondence to Eduardo Fávero Caires.

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Responsible Editor: Martin Weih.

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Joris, H.A.W., Caires, E.F., Bini, A.R. et al. Effects of soil acidity and water stress on corn and soybean performance under a no-till system. Plant Soil 365, 409–424 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-012-1413-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-012-1413-2

Keywords

  • Dolomitic lime
  • Surface application
  • Drought stress
  • Aluminum toxicity
  • Calcium
  • Root length