A new methodology for comprehensive analysis of the characteristics of nitrogen (N) removal from greenhouse soil by catch crop was proposed in relation to its growth and water use. The N removal is expressed as the product of five parameters: net assimilation rate, specific leaf area, shoot dry weight, water use efficiency for N removal, and water requirement for growth. This methodology was applied to the data of a greenhouse experiment where corn was cultivated under three plant densities. We analyzed the effect of plant density and examined the effectiveness of the methodology. Higher plant densities are advantageous not only for total N removal but also for water use efficiency in N removal and growth because of the large specific leaf area, shoot dry weight, and decreased soil evaporation. On the other hand, significant positive or negative linear relationships were found between all five parameters and N removal. This should improve the understanding of the N removal mechanisms and the interactions among its components. We show the effectiveness of our analytical methodology, which can contribute to identifying the optimum plant density according to the field situations (available water amount, soil N quantity to be removed) for practical catch crop cultivation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes