Green maize (Zea mays L.) is a cultivated species of significant importance in the agricultural scene. The literature reports that Si has been used as an alternative option for sustainable agricultural systems. We examined the hypothesis that this beneficial element will improve the photosynthetic performance and biological productivity of crop plants, under field conditions, without nutritional stress. In this context, leaf gas exchanges, physiological indexes, and growth parameters were investigated in green maize, AG4051 and CATIVERDE 02, under Si availabilities at the initial stage of vegetative development. The treatments were: Via shoot; 0, 130, 260, 390 and 520 g ha-1; and via roots; 0, 100, 500, 1000 and 2000 kg ha-1. The experimental design was randomized blocks (RB) with 5 blocks (experimental plots). The beneficial mineral element Si did not have an improvement on gas exchanges of green maize plants and, consequently, plant development. In conclusion, we reject our initial hypothesis and we accepted the alternative hypothesis, that the beneficial element Si did not optimize the photosynthetic performance and biological productivity of green maize plants, without nutritional stress.
Key words: Leaf gas exchange, silicon, sustainability, zea mays l.
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