African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6863

Full Length Research Paper

Vegetation cover affects rhizobia-tree legume symbiosis in the semi-arid region of Brazil

Luciana Remígio Santos Nascimento1, Ana Dolores Santiago de Freitas1, Vinicius Santos Gomes da Silva2*, Augusto Cesar de Arruda Santana1, Aleksandro Ferreira da Silva1, Carolina Etienne de Rosália e Silva Santos1, Juscélia da Silva Ferreira1, Leandro Reis Costa Santos1 and Jéssica Rafaella de Sousa Oliveira1  
1Department of Agronomy, Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil. 2Federal Institute of Pernambuco, Vitória de Santo Antão, Pernambuco, Brazil.  
Email: [email protected]

  •  Received: 15 November 2018
  •  Accepted: 11 February 2019
  •  Published: 25 April 2019


Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) is the main form of introducing nitrogen into systems with low fertilizer input, which prevail in the semi-arid region of Brazil. BNF was evaluated in leucena and sabiá grown in samples of a soil collected under different vegetation cover: native vegetation; capoeira (area abandoned for the restoration); agricultural use; sabiá grove; and leucena grove. Nodulation was abundant in soil under all the types of cover. Leucena grown in soil under capoeira exhibited the highest dry biomass of nodules, while the same cover provided the lowest dry biomass of nodules for sabiá. Growth and shoot biomass were higher in plants grown in soil under caatinga. BNF was high in leucena and sabiá, reaching rates higher than 97% in plants grown in soil under capoeira. The highest amounts of fixed nitrogen (N) were found in leucena plants grown in soil under caatinga. It is the first estimate of the potential to fixed N for sabiá and leucena in soils of the semi-arid region, providing an initial estimate of the amounts of N that can be fixed in the field by these tree legumes in the Brazilian semi-arid.

Key words: Indigenous rhizobia, isotope, Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit, Mimosa caesalpiniifolia Benth, N-15 natural abundance method, tropical dry forest.