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Phosphorus and nitrogen fertiliser use efficiency of wheat seedlings grown in soils from contrasting tillage systems

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 15:35 authored by Armstrong, RD, Dunsford, K, McLaughlin, MJ, McBeath, T, Mason, S, Dunbabin, VM

Aims This paper assessed the effect that the vertical stratification of nutrients in conservation cropping systems of Australia has on phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) fertiliser use efficiency.

Methods Intact soil cores from two long-term tillage experiments, located on a Vertosol and on a Calcarosol were used to assess if tillage system (zero tillage - ZT vs conventional tillage - CT) and soil water influence fertiliser use efficiency (using 33P and 15N) of wheat under controlled growth conditions.

Results Adding P increased shoot growth and P uptake on the Calcarosol, provided the surface remained moist and N was applied. The percentage of plant P derived from fertiliser (Pdff) was greater on the Calcarosol regardless of tillage practice. Pdff increased when the soil remained wet or when N was added. The percentage of N derived from fertiliser (%Ndff) was not affected by tillage practice on the Vertosol but when the soil surface was allowed to dry, it was significantly greater under ZT than CT on the Calcarosol. Adding P increased N fertiliser recovery but tillage practice had no effect.

Conclusion The effect of tillage practice on P and N fertiliser use efficiency depends on soil and topsoil water status.


Publication title

Plant and Soil










Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


Kluwer Academic Publ

Place of publication

Van Godewijckstraat 30, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 3311 Gz

Rights statement

Copyright Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives


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