Location: Sustainable Perennial Crops LaboratoryTitle: Mineral nutrition of cacao (Theobroma cacao L.): Relationships between foliar concentrations of mineral nutrients and crop productivity
|MARROCOS, P - Comissao Executiva Do Plano Da Lavoura Cacueira (CEPLAC)|
|ARAUJO, Q - Comissao Executiva Do Plano Da Lavoura Cacueira (CEPLAC)|
|LOUREIRO, G - Autonomous University Of The State Of Mexico|
|SODRE, G - Comissao Executiva Do Plano Da Lavoura Cacueira (CEPLAC)|
|AHNERT, D - University Of Santa Cruz - Brazil|
Submitted to: Journal of Plant Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/30/2019
Publication Date: 3/16/2020
Citation: Marrocos, P.C., Araujo, Q.R., Loureiro, G.A., Sodre, G.A., Ahnert, D., Baligar, V.C. 2020. Mineral nutrition of cacao (Theobroma cacao L.): Relationships between foliar concentrations of mineral nutrients and crop productivity. Journal of Plant Nutrition. 15 (11):2369–79.
Interpretive Summary: Mineral nutrient management of soils and cacao is one of the main strategies to increase the productivity of cacao cropping areas. Increased knowledge of mineral nutrient status of cacao can assist in designing an effective soil nutrient application strategy. In this paper we report the superiority of linear, statistical analysis over bivariate and multivariate statistical analysis to relate leaf nutrient concentrations of 48 cacao cropping areas and cacao bean productivity. The cropping areas, with very high productivity equal to or higher than 1600 kg of dry cacao beans ha-1 year-1, were positively correlated with the leaf concentrations of K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn and Zn. This information will be useful to farmers and extension workers to design efficient and economically acceptable soil nutrient management strategies to reduce plant mineral nutrient deficiencies and thereby substantially increase cacao bean yields in infertile acidic tropical soils.
Technical Abstract: The understanding of the mineral nutritional status of cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) is one of the main strategies needed to increase the productivity of cacao beans. The main objective of this work is to verify the linear relationships, bivariate and multivariate analysis between the foliar nutrient concentrations of 48 cropping areas and graphically identifying the consistency of this information. For this study, foliar samples collected from cacao cropping areas, with known productivity of dry cacao beans (kg ha-1 year-1), were analyzed for N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu concentrations. The interpretation of the results by the exploratory analysis technique linked to the linear correlation analysis proved to be an essential tool to support nutritional diagnosis systems. The cropping areas with very high productivity, 1600 kg of dry cacao beans ha-1 year-1 or higher, were positively correlated with the leaf concentration of macronutrients K, Ca, and Mg, and micronutrients Fe, Mn and Zn. The negative correlation of these same high productivity cropping areas with the concentrations of N, P and Cu may be a phenomenon related to the high nutritional demand for these nutrients in the productive phase.