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Revista de Ciências Agrárias

Print version ISSN 0871-018X


PORTELA, Ester; VALE, Rui  and  ABREU, Maria Manuela. Boron deficiencies in the northern and central interior of Portugal. Rev. de Ciências Agrárias [online]. 2015, vol.38, n.4, pp.484-517. ISSN 0871-018X.

In Portugal, boron deficiency has been observed almost everywhere, in particular in the interior of the country, causing severe crop damage. In the 1950's, the growth anomalies in the Douro vineyards were recognised as a boron deficiency (called ´maromba'). From the 1980's onwards systematic studies have been carried out in the northern and central interior of Portugal with the purpose of identifying and correcting this deficiency in fruit trees and forest/agroforest species. In this review paper an inventory of geological/lithological formations and soil groups is carried out where the boron shortage was most often detected. The environmental conditions that enhanced the occurrence of boron deficiency were reviewed. Based on studies carried out in these regions, the deficiency symptoms of selected trees were described, and also the boron concentrations in soils and leaves in which the symptoms had been observed were recorded. Experimental results of boron fertilisation in terms of growth or yield increase of crops were presented. Finally, an attempt is made to explain perplexities arisen from unexpected plant reactions, either due to the deficiency or to boron application, since the emergence of ´maromba' in the 19th century until the present. In addition, some strategies for correction of scarcity of this micronutrient are suggested.

Keywords : extractable boron; foliar boron concentration; soil critical level; symptoms of boron deficiency.

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