Heterogeneous Nutrient Sources Exhibit Varying Associations of Vegetative and Reproductive Parameters of Irish Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.)
International Journal of Plant & Soil Science,
The aim of this study was to evaluate the associations of vegetative and reproductive parameters of Irish potato from different organic and inorganic nutrient sources The study was done in the west region of Cameroon, specifically in Bougham, a village in the western highlands. The seeds were sown on the 4th of May 2016. Harvesting was done in August 2016. A total area of 250m2 was cleared and prepared in to a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD). Each block was divided into nine ridges. Eight fertilizer treatments: inorganic (NPK 15:1515, NPK 11:11:22), organic (Pig dropping, Poultry dropping), composite (four bi-combinations of the animal and NPK-based fertilizer) and a control treatment were randomly assigned to each ridge per block. General agronomic practices were adopted from local farmers. Data were collected on vegetative and reproductive parameters. Correlation analysis was also evaluated between parameters. This was followed by principal component analysis with varimax rotation. Principal components were selected based on eigen value criteria – a component was selected if its eigen value was greater than 1. All analyses were done using PAST (ver. 3.26b) Analysis revealed significant correlations between some vegetative and reproductive parameters notably between emergence and plant height (r = 0.45, P < 0.05), emergence and plant harvested (r = 0.867, P < 0.05), and between plant cover and plant height (r = 0.546, P < 0.05). According to the eigen value criteria (eigen value > 1.0), 4 principal components were retained from organic and inorganic nutrient sources each, and 3 principal components were retained from composite nutrient source. Reproductive parameters were more aggregated in the first principal component for organic nutrient source, accounting for 35.87% of all variations while they were more aggregated in the second principal component (25.61%) from inorganic nutrient sources. From the composite nutrient source, the reproductive and vegetative parameters were almost equally distributed between the first (31.80%) and second (27.82%) principal components. In this study, that varied nutrient sources (organic. Inorganic and composite) affects Irish potato differently. Consequently, both organic and inorganic nutrient sources should be seen as synergistic and not mutually exclusive for holistic production of Irish potato.