Response of short-duration pigeonpea to nitrogen application after short-term waterlogging on a Vertisol uri icon

abstract

  • Short-duration pigeonpea suffers from waterlogging damage following heavy rainfall at the pre-flowering stage on soils with high clay content, such as Vertisols. Effects of short-term waterlogging (3 d) on shoot and root growth of short-duration pigeonpea grown on a Vertisol field were quantified, and the alleviation of waterlogging damage by top-dressing of nitrogen fertilizer was examined.Reduced leaf chlorophyll, increased senescence and abscission of lower leaves were observed within 3 d of the initiation of waterlogging. Root growth and symbiotic N2 fixation were also severely impaired. Root distributions of waterlogged plants were shallower than those of the control during the subsequent recovery period because new adventitious roots were formed in the shallow rather than deep soil layer. Yield of waterlogged crops was significantly smaller than the control.Top-dressing of nitrogen at one day after the termination of waterlogging alleviated waterlogging damage either completely or partially. Leaf chlorophyll and shoot dry mass of waterlogged plants were 78 and 84% of the values in control plants immediately after waterlogging but recovered to 92 and 98% of the control values at the pod-filling stage with a top-dressing of 50 kg N ha?1. Nitrogen application promoted root growth in the shallow soil layers during the first 11 d after application, and in the deeper soil layers during the subsequent 16 d. Total nodule activity was significantly reduced by 100 kg N ha?1, but increased by 50 kg N ha?1 around one month after the top-dressing. The reduction in seed yield was largely compensated for by 50 kg N ha?1, because of recovery from waterlogging damage to shoot and root growth involving increased nodule activity

publication date

  • 1994
  • 1994