Nitrogen supply effect on emmer (Triticum dicoccum Schübler) ecophysiological and yield performance

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Dipartimento Agricoltura, Ambiente e Alimenti, Università degli Studi del Molise, Via De Sanctis, 86100 Campobasso, Italy.

2 Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante (IPSP), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), via Madonna del Piano 10, I-50019 Firenze, Italy.

3 Dipartimento di Bioscienze e Territorio, Università degli Studi del Molise, Contrada Fonte Lappone, 86090 Pesche, Italy.


The effects of nitrogen (N) addition on productive and physiological traits of Triticum
dicoccum were assessed under two N levels (0, unfertilized, and 90 kg N ha−1) in field
conditions, in two growing seasons. In the study case, the N supply (90 kg N ha−1) was applied
in three-split applications (20% at pre-plant stage, 40% at tillering stage, 40% at stem
elongation). In unfertilized conditions, the productive and physiological traits were consistently
reduced in comparison with fertilized treatments. Indeed, control plots showed lower
grain yield, biomass and protein content (about 42, 44 and 19%, respectively) and lower
photosynthetic activity at light saturation level (25%) than fertilized plots. The stomatal
conductance was 34.2% and 70.8% lower in unfertilized plots than in fertilized those, in the first
and second year, respectively. No significant differences for the Ci/Ca ratio were evident
between treatments. Emmer physiological and yield performances were affected by N supply,
although the crop plasticity to N availability was emphasized.