The different responses of improved genotypes to alterations of the availability of nutrients indicate that it is possible to modulate the nutritional efficiency by exploring the interaction between the intrinsic response of a genotype and the level of nutrient supply. The objective of this research was to assess the response of genotypes of Coffea arabica L., from different parental lineages, to contrasting environments for N supply, using parameters of growth and nutritional efficiency indexes to explore a possible increase in the nutritional efficiency. The experiment followed a 3×3 factorial scheme, in a completely randomized design, with 3 improved genotypes (Acauã, Katipó and Topázio) and 3 environments with different levels of N availability in the soil (50, 100 and 200% of the recommended supply). The growth and nutritional efficiency of C. arabica is influenced by the effects of the intrinsic differences among genotypes and can be modulated by changes in the environment, based on the response to different supplies of N in the soil. Genotypes from different parental linages are able to present highly contrasting responses to the fertilization with N, indicating a high variability to be explored. Among the studied genotypes, Topázio presents higher accumulation of biomass and high nutritional efficiency for absorbing, translocating and using N in environments with low fertility; while Acauã presents higher efficiency in environments with higher N supply.
Key words: Coffee, genotypes, mineral nutrition, variability.
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