Growth and Gas Exchange of Cucurbita pepo L. Under Nitrogen and Silicon Fertilization

  •  Jackson de M. Alves    
  •  Alex S. de Lima    
  •  Cesenildo de F. Suassuna    
  •  Francisco R. A. Figueiredo    
  •  Toshik Iarley da Silva    
  •  Evandro F. de Mesquita    
  •  Lourival F. Cavalcante    
  •  Francisco de O. Mesquita    


Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo L.) is a horticultural crop of great socioeconomic importance in Brazil and in the world. However, inappropriate fertilization management, such as over-fertilization of soils, may become a limiting factor for its development. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the morpho-physiological behavior of zucchini submitted to nitrogen (N) doses applied via soil and foliar application of silicon (Si). The treatments were distributed in split-plot scheme in a randomized block design, with three replications. The plot was formed by silicon levels (0.0 and 6.0 g plant-1) and the subplots constituted by five nitrogen levels (30, 60, 90, 120 and 150 kg ha-1), adding up to 30 experimental units. Gas exchanges and growth parameters were assessed at 35 days after planting. The data were submitted to analysis of variance by the F test and in the cases of significance was performed a polynomial regression analysis for the nitrogen factor and Tukey test for the silicon factor. The supply of Si positively enhances the effects of N on growth characteristics and gas exchanges of zucchini. The simultaneous application of Si and N does not influence the leaf area of zucchini. The N dose of 93.9 kg ha-1 provides greater assimilation of CO2 in zucchini plants under the conditions in which the experiment was performed.

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