ía Mesoamericana ISSN electrónico: 2215-3608

Response of five legume cover crops to phosphoric fertilization

Robin Gómez Gómez, María Isabel González Lutz



Legume cover crops are planted to control weed, to prevent soil erosion, and to increase nitrogen in soil. The objective of this study was to evaluate the response to phosphorus fertilization of the legumes Mucuna pruriens cv. cinza, Mucuna pruriens cv. preta, Crotalaria spectabilis, Vigna radiata, and Pueraria phaseoloides, during two seasons of the year. The experiment was carried out in a greenhouse at the Agricultural Experiment Station Fabio Baudrit Moreno (EEAFBM, in Spanish), of the University of Costa Rica, Alajuela, Costa Rica, from November 2012 to January 2013, and it was replicated from April to May 2013. Doses of 0, 30, 60, and 90 kg P2O5/ha were applied on steam sterilized soil, and then it was used to fill 2 kg capacity pots. The variables assessed were plant height, a number of true leaves, and dry weight 18-26 days after planting depending on legume species. Crotalaria spectabilis, V. radiata, and P. phaseoloides achieved the highest growth when fertilized at the rate of 60 kg P2O5/ha, whereas both M.prurienscultivars did not increase growth as a response to phosphoric fertilization. Due to the positive effect of phosphorus fertilization on growth of small-seeded legumes, it is important to validate the use of this fertilizer to achieve rapid soil cover, which could decrease weed competition.


cover plants; weed control; green manures.


Al-Niemi, T.S., M.L. Kahn, and T.R. McDermott. 1998. Phosphorus uptake by bean nodules. Plant Soil 198:71-78. doi:10.1023/A:1004200903458

Altieri, M.A., and L.L. Schmidt. 1986. Cover crops affect insect and spider populations in apple orchards. Calif. Agric. 40:15-17.

Buckles, D., B. Triomphe, y G. Sain. 2002. Los cultivos de cobertura en la agricultura de laderas: innovación de los agricultores con Mucuna. CIID, CIMMYT, y CATIE, CAN.

Cadisch, G., R. Sylvester-Bradley, and J. Nösberger. 1989. 15N-Based estimation of nitrogen fixation by eight tropical foragelegumes at two levels of P:K supply. Field Crops Res. 22:181-194. doi:10.1016/0378-4290(89)90091-9

Carrera, L.M., J.S. Buyer, B. Vinyard, A.A. Abdul-Baki, L.J. Sikora, and J.R. Teasdale. 2007. Effects of cover crops, compost, and manure amendments on soil microbial community structure in tomato production systems. Appl. Soil Ecol. 37:247-255. doi:10.1016/j.apsoil.2007.08.003

Carsky, R.J., B. Oyewole, and G. Tian. 2001. Effect of phosphorus application in legume cover crop rotation on subsequent maize in the savanna zone of West Africa. Nutr. Cycl. Agroecosyst. 59:151-159. doi:10.1023/A:1017578628062

Castillo-Luna, M.P., y R. Gómez-Gómez. 2016. Efecto de la esterilización del suelo con vapor de agua sobre semillas de malezas. Agron. Mesoam. 27:1-5. doi:10.15517/am.v27i2.21286

Chaudhary, M.I., J.J. Adu-Gyamfi, H. Saneoka, N.T. Nguyen, R. Suwa, S. Kanai, H.A. El-Shemy, D.A. Lightfoot, and K. Fujita. 2008. The effect of phosphorus deficiency on nutrient uptake, nitrogen fixation and photosynthetic rate in mashbean, mungbean and soybean. Acta Physiol. Plant 30:537-544. doi:10.1007/s11738-008-0152-8

Divito, G.A., and V.O. Sadras. 2014. How do phosphorus, potassium and sulphur affect plant growth and biological nitrogen fixation in crop and pasture legumes? A meta-analysis. Field Crops Res. 156:161-171. doi:10.1016/j.fcr.2013.11.004

Fageria, N.K., E.P. de-Brito-Ferreira, and A. Moreira. 2015. Micronutrients use efficiency in tropical cover crops as influenced by phosphorus fertilization. Rev. Caatinga 28:130-137.

Flores-Sanchez, D., A. Pastor, E.A. Lantinga, W.A.H. Rossing, and M.J. Kropff. 2013. Quelle Agroecol. Sustain. Food Syst. 37:739-761. doi:10.1080/21683565.2013.763888

Gunawardena, S.F.B.N., S.K.A. Danso, and F. Zapata. 1992. Phosphorus requirements and nitrogen accumulation by three mungbean (Vigna radiata (L) Welzek) cultivars. Plant Soil 147:267-274. doi:10.1007/BF00029078

Hairiah, K., M. van-Noordwijk, and S. Setijono. 1995. Tolerance and avoidance of Al toxicity by Mucuna pruriens var. utilis at different levels of P supply. Plant Soil 171:77-81. doi:10.1007/BF00009568

Hoveland, C.S., G.A. Buchanan, and M.C. Harris. 1976. Response of weeds to soil phosphorus and potassium. Weed Sci. 24:194-201.

Isemura, T., A. Kaga, S. Tabata, P. Somta, P. Srinives, T. Shimizu, U. Jo, D.A. Vaughan, and N. Tomooka. 2012. Construction of a genetic linkage map and genetic analysis of domestication related traits in mungbean (Vigna radiata). PLoS ONE 7(8):e41304. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041304

Israel, D.W. 1987. Investigation of the role of phosphorus in symbiotic dinitrogen fixation. Plant Physiol. 84:835-840.

Kihara, J., B. Vanlauwe, B. Waswa, J. Kimetu, J. Chianu, and A. Bationo. 2010. Strategic phosphorus application in legumecereal rotations increases land productivity and profitability in Western Kenya. Exp. Agric. 46:35-52. doi:10.1017/S0014479709990810

Kolawole, G.O., and B.T. Kang. 1997. Effect of seed size and phosphorus fertilization on growth of selected legumes. Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. 28:1223-1235. doi:10.1080/00103629709369868

Koutika, L.S., S. Hauser, and J. Henrot. 2001. Soil organic matter assessment in natural regrowth, Pueraria phaseoloides and Mucuna pruriens fallow. Soil Biol. Biochem. 33:1095-1101. doi:10.1016/S0038-0717(01)00015-3

Lopes-Cruz, J.L., L. da-Silva-Souza, N.C. dos-Santos-de-Souza, and C.R. Pelacani. 2014. Effect of cover crops on the aggregation of a soil cultivated with papaya (Carica papaya L.). Sci. Hortic. 172:82-85. doi:10.1016/j.scienta.2014.03.045

McSorley, R. 1999. Host suitability of potential cover crops for root-knot nematodes. J. Nematol. 31:619-623.

Nadeem, M.A., R. Ahmad, and M.S. Ahmad. 2004. Effect of seed inoculation and different fertilizer levels on the growth and yield of mungbean (Vigna radiata L.). J. Agron. 3:40-42. doi:10.39237ja.2004.4042

Rosolem, C.A., J.S.S. Foloni, and C.S. Tiritan. 2002. Root growth and nutrient accumulation in cover crops as affected by soil compaction. Soil Tillage Res. 65:109-115. doi:10.1016/S0167-1987(01)00286-0

Salinas, J.G., J.I. Sanz, and E. Sieverding. 1985. Importance of VA mycorrhizae for phosphorus supply to pasture plants in tropical Oxisols. Plant Soil 84:347-360. doi:10.1007/BF02275474

Sancho, F., y C. Cervantes. 1997. El uso de plantas de cobertura en sistemas de producción de cultivos perennes y anuales en Costa Rica. Agron. Costarricense 21(1):111-120.

SAS Institute. 2015. The JMP system for Windows. Release 12. SAS Institute, Cary, NC, USA.

Tonitto, C., M.B. David, and L.E. Drinkwater. 2006. Replacing bare fallows with cover crops in fertilizer-intensive cropping systems: A meta-analysis of crop yield and N dynamics. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 112:58-72. doi:10.1016/j.agee.2005.07.003

Waidyanatha, U.P.d.S., N. Yogaratnam, and W.A. Ariyaratne. 1979. Mycorrhizal infection on growth and nitrogen fixation of Pueraria and Stylosanthes and uptake of phosphorus from two rock phosphates. New Phytol. 82:147-152. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.1979.tb07569.x


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Comments on this article

View all comments

Copyright (c) 2018 Mesoamerican Agronomy

© 2017 Universidad de Costa Rica. Para ver más detalles sobre la distribución de los artículos en este sitio visite el aviso legal. Este sitio es desarrollado por UCRIndex y Open Journal Systems. ¿Desea cosechar nuestros metadatos? dirección OAI-PMH: