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Title: Growth and nutrition of cacao seedlings influenced by zinc application in soil

item CRUZ NETO, R - University Of Santa Cruz - Brazil
item SOUZA JUNIOR, J - University Of Santa Cruz - Brazil
item SODRE, G - University Of Santa Cruz - Brazil
item Baligar, Virupax

Submitted to: Revista Brasileira de Fruticultura
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/25/2015
Publication Date: 3/21/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Cruz Neto, R.O., Souza Junior, J.O., Sodre, G.A., Baligar, V.C. 2016. Growth and nutrition of cacao seedlings influenced by zinc application in soil. Revista Brasileira de Fruticultura. 37:1053-1064.

Interpretive Summary: Levels of micronutrients in infertile acidic tropical soils profoundly influence the production potentials and nutrition of tree crops such as cacao. Among the micronutrients, zinc (Zn) is observed as one of the most limiting soil nutrients in South America especially where cacao is grown. An experiment was undertaken to assess growth and macro-micro nutrition response of clonal cacao PH 16 to deficient to excess levels of soil Zn in three soils of Bahia Brazil. In all the soils studied application of zinc was essential to improve growth and nutrition of macro and micronutrients of cacao seedlings. Information gained from this research will be useful to researchers, extension workers and farmers to design Zn fertilization practices for acidic infertile soils under cacao and to improve sustainability of cacao plantations.

Technical Abstract: Levels of Zn in tropical soils profoundly influences growth and nutrition of tree crops . Research was undertaken to assess the effect of soil Zn on growth and nutrition of clonal cacao tree seedlings of PH 16. Three acidic Oxisol soils differing in texture were used with nine doses of Zn (0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 48, and 64 mg dm-3) as ZnSO2. Rooted clonal seedlings were grown in plastic pot with 11 dm3 of the soils at varying Zn levels for 240 days. At harvest growth (dry biomass of leaves, stems, shoots, roots, and total) and nutrient concentrations of macro and micro nutrients were determined. Colanal cacao seedling showed differences for production of various biomasses and foliar nutrient concentrations for P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, Zn, and Cu. There was Zn toxicity in all soils.