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Idesia (Arica)

On-line version ISSN 0718-3429

Abstract

PANZITTA, Mercedes et al. Preliminary tests to determine the biological fixation of nitrogen in Adesmia bicolor through the method of natural abundance. Idesia [online]. 2019, vol.37, n.1, pp.61-65. ISSN 0718-3429.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-34292018005002301.

In semi-arid regions of Argentina, Adesmia bicolor (Leguminosae) is being evaluated as an indefinite cycle forage species, as it is a perennial herbaceous legume with a potentially productive stoloniferous habit and high capacity to fix nitrogen. Due to the lack of information regarding the capacity it has to fix atmospheric nitrogen in its natural ecosystem, the following objectives were proposed: I) To quantify aerial biomass and nitrogen content produced by A. bicolor during its life cycle, II) To quantify aerial biomass and nitrogen content produced by selected grasses to be used as reference species: Sorghum halepense, Paspalum notatum and Cynodon dactylon during their life cycle and III) To determine if these species are appropriate to be used in the quantification of nitrogen fixed biologically by A. bicolor with the method of natural abundance. In Villa Rumipal (province of Córdoba, Argentina) samples of A. bicolor were collected together with three grass species: P. notatum, S. halepense, and C. dactylon in the vegetative, flowering and fruiting stages. The grasses selected as reference species show phenological characteristics and life cycles similar to the legume specie under study. Aerial biomass and nitrogen content were evaluated through Kjeldahl method. Although the efficiency of biological nitrogen fixation in A. bicolor is not determined in this study, it can be predicted (based on aerial biomass data and nitrogen content) that it would be reduced after flowering stage. In the species used as a reference there is a notable increase in biomass throughout its life cycles. After the data collected was analyzed, it can be concludes that the most appropriate reference species to evaluate the nitrogen content is P. notatum, since it explores a volume of soil similar to A. bicolor. S. halepense and C. dactylon had a higher nitrogen content, this can be attributed to the fact that their underground systems are more vigorous and, therefore, are more able to extract nitrogen from the soil.

Keywords : Adesmia bicolor; grasses; reference species; nitrogen.

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