Coffee husk is a residue produced during the fruit processing and it is an excellent source of organic matter. It is an interesting alternative that can be used in the formation of the substrate to plantlet production, but the proportion to be recommended is still unknown. In this context, this experiment was conducted with the objective to study the growth, quality and gas exchange rates of clonal plantlets of Conilon coffee produced using plastic tubes, filled with substrate composed of different proportions of coffee husk to partially replace the commercial substrate. The experiment was conducted in a nursery, following a 3×6 factorial scheme in a completely randomized design; studying three genotypes of Conilon coffee and six proportions of coffee husk in the composition of the substrate for plantlets production from 0% to 100%. Overall, the results showed gains in growth and quality of the plantlets when coffee husk was added in the substrate but decrease in gas exchanges, especially over the net carbon assimilation. Considering the growth and quality, most detrimental effects started being observed with proportions above 38%. Different patterns of response were observed among genotypes, which must be taken into consideration for further researches to help define safety levels and a possible recommendation to use coffee husk in the substrate.
Key words: Asexual reproduction, Conilon coffee, plant nursery, biomass, Robusta coffee.
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