Faster residue decomposition of brittle stem rice mutant due to finer breakage during threshing uri icon

abstract

  • In intensive tropical rice (Oryza sativa L.) cropping systems with short fallows, it would be advantageous that rice straw decompose fast enough to facilitate land preparation and planting of the subsequent crop. The straw of a brittle stem rice mutant of IR68 was tested for more rapid decomposition compared with non-brittle IR68 straw. The hypothesis was that the brittle mutant straw would break into smaller pieces during threshing, and that both the smaller piece size and the differences in biochemical straw composition would enable more rapid decomposition. Brittle straw broke into smaller pieces than non-brittle straw during a replicated trial of three threshing methods: hand threshing, pedal threshing, and axial-flow machine threshing. In a litter bag study to determine the effect of straw piece size on decomposition rate of each straw type over 10 weeks, smaller straw pieces decomposed faster than larger pieces as indicated by changes in amount of straw and its C/N ratio over time (P < 0.05), but there was no significant difference between straw types at the same size. It was concluded that the finer breakage of brittle straw during field operations is likely to be more important than the biochemical differences in overall residue decomposition rate. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2008
  • 2008
  • 2008