Phytomass decomposition and nutrients release from pearl millet, guinea grass and palisade grass


  • Claudio Hideo Martins da Costa Universidade Federal de Goiás
  • Carlos Alexandre Costa Crusciol Universidade Estadual Paulista
  • Rogério Peres Soratto Universidade Estadual Paulista
  • Jayme Ferrari Neto Universidade Estadual Paulista



Pennisetum glaucum, Panicum maximum, Urochloa brizantha, straw persistence, nutrients recycling.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the production and persistence of biomass of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), guinea grass (Panicum maximum) and palisade grass (Urochloa brizantha), as well as the release rate of macronutrients and Si and changes in cellulose, lignin and the C/N and C/Si ratios of biomass. The experimental design was a randomized block design, with four replications, in a factorial constituted by three cover crops (pearl millet, guinea grass and palisade grass) and six sampling times (0, 14, 34, 41, 51 and 68 days after desiccation (DAD). The pearl millet produced more biomass and accumulated more N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Si and C than the guinea grass and palisade grass. The maximum release rate of macronutrient occurred soon after the desiccation of the cover crops. The decomposition and release rate of nutrients and Si was higher in the biomass of pearl millet, compared to other cover crops. Over time there was an increased C/N ratio, cellulose and lignin content and reduction in the C/Si and decomposition rate of the biomass. The K is the nutrient most quickly available to the soil, and Si has the lowest release rate. Plants with higher biomass production and lower C/Si are more interesting to be used under no-till by offering greater and more persistent ground cover.


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How to Cite

COSTA, C.H.M. da, CRUSCIOL, C.A.C., SORATTO, R.P. and FERRARI NETO, J., 2016. Phytomass decomposition and nutrients release from pearl millet, guinea grass and palisade grass . Bioscience Journal [online], vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 1191–1203. [Accessed17 April 2024]. DOI 10.14393/BJ-v32n5a2016-32982. Available from:



Agricultural Sciences