Open Access Original Research Article

Influence of Different Soil Application Methods of Mucuna puriens on Soil Chemical Properties and Maize Yield in Ghana

Benette Yaw Osei, Kofi Agyarko, Emmanuel Kwasi Aseidu, Martha Agyiri, Kwabena Kyere, Emmanuel Kofi Amponsah, Kwabena Atakora

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2018/43186

Damaged and depleted soils need to be rebuilt, improved and used efficiently to support permanent agriculture. Generally there have been several attempts to use cover crops as soil amendments to improve soil management and conservation while improving soil productivity. This experiment was conducted between December 2011 and December 2013 at the multipurpose nursery of the University of Education, Winneba, Mampong Campus, Ghana to determine the growth and yield response of maize and some soil chemical properties to Mucuna pruriens as soil amendments. The treatments used were; Mucuna pruriens as green manure, Mucuna pruriens as live mulch, Mucuna pruriens as in-situ mulch and control (no Mucuna pruriens) laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with 3 replications. The growth and yield parameters of maize measured were plant height, stem girth, leaf area index (LAI), 100 seed weight, mean cob weight and grain yield. Organic carbon and organic matter, soil pH, total nitrogen (N), available phosphorus (P), exchangeable potassium (K) and cation exchange capacity (CEC) were measured for soil chemical properties. The study showed that Mucuna pruriens as in-situ mulch recorded the highest grain yield and cob weight followed by Mucuna pruriens as green manure, Mucuna pruriens as live mulch and the control. Although Mucuna pruriens as live mulch recorded   higher levels of the soil’s chemical properties, it did not give the best growth and yield performance of maize (test crop) probably as a result of its allellopathic effects and the competition between the live Mucuna pruriens and the maize plant for space, water and nutrients.

Open Access Original Research Article

Heavy Metals in Fruits and Juice of Elstar Apple Variety

Emir Imširović, Besim Salkić, Husejin Keran, Ensar Salkić, Ahmed Salkić, Sead Noćajević

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2018/43373

The goal of the research was to determine the concentration of lead, copper, cadmium, zinc and iron in the soil of different pH, the degree of contamination in the intensive production of Elstar apples, as well as the impact of soil contamination on the concentration of heavy metals in fruits and apple juice. The stationary research was conducted during 2014-2015 in the fruit nursery Špionica near Srebrenik (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Along with the standard agro-technology, acidification and calcification of soil were applied, as well as the simulation of soil contamination with heavy metals, on the experimental plot of apple plantations. The concentrations of heavy metals in the soil, fruits and apple juice were measured on an atomic absorption spectrophotometer (Analyst 200) and inductively coupled plasma by optical emission method ICP-OES (Optima 2100 DV) and by standard analytical methods. In tilted layer of soil in the width of the treetop, the heavy metal concentration ranged from 9.60 mg/kg for lead, 26.76 mg/kg for copper, 34.23 mg/kg zinc and 17852.00 mg/kg for iron. There was no cadmium. After zero soil sample analysis the acidity of sample soil were increased or decreased with ammonium sulfate, i.e. acidification (1.2 kg per apple tree) and with lime, i.e. calcification (3.2 kg per apple tree) and treated with solution of each metal in an amount of 800 mL per tree (10 mL of pure solution mixed with 10 L of distilled water). In soil samples where the acidification were done  average concentration of heavy metals were: lead 12.70 mg/kg, copper 36.97 mg/kg, zinc 61.03 mg/kg and iron 24.00 mg/kg. In soil sample where the calcification were done average concentration of heavy metals were: lead 13.87 mg/kg, copper 38.50 mg/kg, zinc 65.03 mg/kg and iron 26193.00 mg/kg. In Elstar apples grown on demonstration plot, the highest was iron content with an average of 15 mg/kg. The content of zinc ranged from 2.36 to 4.40 mg / kg, with an average copper content of about 0.70 mg / kg while the lead content was 0.41-0.70 mg/kg. In juice, produced from the Elstar apples grown on the basic soil copper content was highest 0.668 mg/kg and that is the highest value recorded from all the values in the juice in general. The concentrations of these heavy metals in the soil before the experiment were below the maximum allowable concentration (MAC) for powdery-loamy soil. After acidification, calcification as well as simulation of soil contamination with heavy metals, there was a noticeable increase in the concentration of heavy metals in the soil, but after experiment concentrations of heavy metals in fruits and apple juice were very low, far below MAC. This research has shown that even with heavy metals in the soil there is no risk to consumers health to consume such fruits and products because coefficient of heavy metal transfer from the soil to the fruits is very low, below the limit values.

Open Access Original Research Article

Biochemical Responses of Wolfbane (Periploca angustifolia Labill) to Water Stress

Mohamed, M. Abd El-Maboud, Abd Elmonem, A. A. Elhenawy, Mohamed, F. Ibrahim

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2018/44540

Periploca angustifolia as an endangered plant species were grown at Balouza Research Station (North Sinai, Egypt) during the period from November, 2016 to April, 2018 including three months seedling stage, two months transplanting and establishment stage, and 12 months plant old after establishment, one meter between seedlings within each row as well as the drip irrigation system. Using three irrigation levels; 160, 120 and 80 mm/year distributed constantly every 10 days for one year along to investigate vegetative parameters, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), polyphenol oxidase (PPO), peroxidase (POD), total free amino acids (FAA), total phenols and soluble sugars. All vegetative parameters (plant height, number of branches, number of pods, leaves fresh and dry weight, soft branches fresh and dry weight, hard branches fresh and dry weight, and branches height mean attained the highest reading at 160mm/year irrigation amount. The three irrigation amounts did not induce a significant change in H2O2 concentration in both leaves and roots of Pangustifolia. The irrigation with 80mm/year induced the highest PPO activity in leaves and roots and the highest POD activity in leaves of Pangustifolia. Also, the lowest used irrigation amount stimulated the highest accumulation of FAA, total phenols and soluble sugars in the leaves.

Open Access Original Research Article

Antifungal Activity of Garlic (Allium sativum) Essential Oil and Wood Ash against Post-harvest Fruit Rot of Banana (Musa acuminata L.) in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria

S. A. Muazu, F. K. Channya, I. B. Chimbekujwo, B. Basiri, B. G. Zakari, K. U. Tukur, K. M. Fauziya, K. B. Samuel

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2018/29614

Studies on antifungal effect of garlic (Allium sativum) essential oil and wood ash were determined on causative agents of post-harvest fruit rot of banana. Different concentrations of essential oil of garlic (0.15, 0.50, and 1.0%) and quantities of wood ash (0.1, 0.3 and 0.5g) were used. The treatments were laid out in Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with three replications. Four (4) fungal pathogens associated with rots of banana fruits were isolated. The fungi isolated and their incidence of occurrence included Colletotrichum musae (18%), Pyricularia grisea (18%), Rhizoctonia solani (38%) and Rhizopus stolonifer(26%). Rhizoctonia solani and Rhizopus stolonifer were the most pathogenic with rot covering more than 75% of the fruit surface. All the tested concentrations (0.15, 0.5 and 1.0%) of essential oil of garlic significantly (p < 0.05) suppressed mycelial growth of the fungi in-vitro. Also all tested quantities of wood ash (0.1, 0.3 and 0.5g) significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the rots of the fungi in-vivo. The effect was proportional to the concentrations of essential oil of garlic and quantities of wood ash used and reduction was highest at 1.0% of garlic oil and 0.5g of wood ash. Both garlic (Allium sativum) essential oil and wood ash proved effective in the control of disease severity and these natural plant materials are recommended as an alternative to pesticides which are often harmful and costly.

Open Access Review Article

Forests for Future – Multifunctional Forests

Lubomir Salek, Ahmet Sivacioğlu

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2018/43669

The long periods or rotation cycles of forests production are sources of uncertainty in the predictions of future forest conditions. The rotation cycles of the different types of forests in Europe vary between 30 to 200 years. There is a lot of uncertainty in forecasting the future climate, markets for forest products, as well as the society’s requirements from forests. The societal expectation and requirements of forest management have changed dramatically during one rotation cycle of 100 years. They shifted from sole production of timber to the requirements of increasing timber production, as well as for other mainly social functions.

The main aim of this study is to determine what types of forest could satisfy multiple requirements and withstand impacts of potential future threats to their functions under the future uncertainties.

The study shows that such forests should be highly productive multifunctional forests, mixtures of the forests of different primary functions, compatible within the shared space, and resistant to stressors and disturbances. It shows that the best practices for creating such multifunctional forests are considering the optimal spatial arrangement in a complete three-dimensional space, and the system of reforestation establishing mixed forests, such as the in-line and spot planting. The spatial arrangement can address conflicts between the maintenance of biodiversity and the timber production. The study presents the results generated from a successfully realized project of real multi-functional forest establishment in the landscape.