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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 608954, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/2012/608954
Research Article

Ultraviolet-B Radiation and Nitrogen Affect Nutrient Concentrations and the Amount of Nutrients Acquired by Above-Ground Organs of Maize

1Department of Biology and Environment, Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
2Department of Soil Science, Centre of Chemistry, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
3Key Laboratory of Ecology and Environmental Science in Guangdong Higher Education, School of Life Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
4Department of Biology, Lund University, 22362 Lund, Sweden

Received 24 October 2011; Accepted 5 December 2011

Academic Editors: A. M. De Ron and J. R. Qasem

Copyright © 2012 Carlos M. Correia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

UV-B radiation effects on nutrient concentrations in above-ground organs of maize were investigated at silking and maturity at different levels of applied nitrogen under field conditions. The experiment simulated a 20% stratospheric ozone depletion over Portugal. At silking, UV-B increased N, K, Ca, and Zn concentrations, whereas at maturity Ca, Mg, Zn, and Cu increased and N, P and Mn decreased in some plant organs. Generally, at maturity, N, Ca, Cu, and Mn were lower, while P, K, and Zn concentrations in stems and nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE) were higher in N-starved plants. UV-B and N effects on shoot dry biomass were more pronounced than on nutrient concentrations. Nutrient uptake decreased under high UV-B and increased with increasing N application, mainly at maturity harvest. Significant interactions UV-B x N were observed for NUE and for concentration and mass of some elements. For instance, under enhanced UV-B, N, Cu, Zn, and Mn concentrations decreased in leaves, except on N-stressed plants, whereas they were less affected by N nutrition. In order to minimize nutritional, economical, and environmental negative consequences, fertiliser recommendations based on element concentration or yield goals may need to be adjusted.