Open Access Original Research Article

Influence of Fruit Based Agroforestry Systems on Soil Properties for Sustainable Soil Health in Hill Zone of West Bengal, India

B. Subba, P. K. Dhara

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/34271

A field experiment on fruit based agroforestry systems comprising of one silvi (Alnus nepalensis), two fruit trees, (Citrus reticulata Blanco. and Pyrus communis) and ten intercrops viz maize, rice, french bean, pea, and pumpkin during kharif and potato, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard and onion during rabi season of two consecutive years (2013-2015) was conducted at Dalapchand Science Farm, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Kalimpong, West Bengal. The experiment was laid out in randomized block design (RBD) with three replications. The fruit plant grafts were planted at spacing of 10 m x 10 m. The silvi saplings were planted in between the two fruit plants and boundary at spacing of 2.5 m during kharif 2011. The intercrops were grown in the interspaces between the two fruit trees during two consecutive years. Depth wise (0-15 cm, 15-30 cm and 30-60 cm) soil samples were collected from the field twice, once at initial (before intercropping) and next at final (at the end of two years of intercropping) by using screw auger. Results revealed that higher improvement in soil physico-chemical properties at 0-15 cm,15-30 cm and 30-60 cm soil depth recorded  viz. bulk density (1.26, 1.34, 1.37 gm-cm3), water holding capacity (39.44, 35.78, 33.29%), soil pH (5.90, 6.23, 6.34), organic carbon (2.04, 1.07, 0.81%), available N (517, 416, 319 kg ha-1), P (14.38,12.18, 9.52 kg ha-1), and K (535, 349, 289 status kg ha-1) respectively  were found under Alnus nepalensis + Citrus reticulata + pea + mustard plot at the end of two years of study. However, among the different treatment combination, integrating silvi (Alnus nepalensis) and fruit trees (Citrus reticulata Blanco. and Pyrus communis) with intercrops (kharif + rabi) showed significant improvement in soil physico-chemical properties than silvi and fruit trees alone or sole crops plots.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Tillage Practice on Soil Moisture Retention under Three Selected Cowpea Varieties

R. N. Khaemba, J. M. Kinama, G. N. Chemining’wa

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-5
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/32781

Aim: To evaluate the effect of tillage practice on soil moisture retention under three cowpea varieties.

Study Design: The treatments were laid out in a randomized complete block design with a factorial arrangement and replicated three times.

Place and Duration of Study: The experiment was conducted at St. Theresa farm and Nakamane irrigation scheme in Turkana county between November 2014 and January 2015.

Methodology: Treatments comprised three tillage practices: conventional tillage (control), conventional tillage + mulch, and zero tillage and three cowpea varieties: M66, K80, and Kenkunde. Soil samples were collected using an auger (25 mm internal diameter) from near randomly selected 5 plants at the depth of 15 cm in all treatments at an interval of 7 days. The gravimetric moisture was determined using the FAO equation.

Results: Tillage + mulch and zero tillage conserved 37.07% and 31.63% more moisture than conventional tillage at St Theresa demo farm, respectively. At Nakamane irrigation scheme, zero tillage retained more moisture content of 33.02% followed by conventional tillage + mulch at 32.24% as compared to conventional tillage. Significant interaction was realized between tillage practice and variety at Nakamane experimental site only. The main effects of variety had no effect on moisture retention.

Conclusion: Tillage practice has significant effect of moisture retention in Turkana county. Any cowpea variety established has no effect on moisture retention. A broader use of tillage practices and varieties is advisable for further studies.

Open Access Original Research Article

Impact of Biogas Slurry on Some Physical Properties in Sandy and Calcareous Soils, Egypt

Mohamed A. Bassouny, Ahmed S. Abuzaid

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/33388

Sandy and calcareous soils in Egypt are promising for increasing cultivated area to suffice the growing food demand; however, their physical properties adverse plant growth. Hence, the current work was carried out to evaluate the effect of biogas slurry (BGS) application rates of 0, 30, 60 and 90 g kg-1 on physical properties in sandy and calcareous soils. Soils were incubated for six months under laboratory conditions keeping the moisture content around 70% of holding capacity. The BGS applications resulted in significant increases (P < 0.05) in organic matter content, total soil porosity, air-filled porosity and water holding capacities while decreased bulk density and void ratio in both soils compared to the control (untreated soils). Soil hydraulic conductivity significantly (P < 0.05) decreased in sandy soil but increased in calcareous soil, with the highest application rate of 90 g kg-1 being the most effective treatment. Generally, the BGS proved success in ameliorating soil physical properties.

Open Access Original Research Article

Lead Accumulation and Distribution at Cellular level in Native Plants Growing on Battery Wastes Contaminated Sites in Ibadan, Nigeria

Ayotunde A. Adeosun, Sifau A. Adejumo, Prashant Srivastava

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-15
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/32252

Introduction: Effective phytorextraction depends on the identification of fast growing plants that can tolerate and accumulate high concentration of metals in their tissue. This study was conducted to identify potential lead hyperaccumulators among the native plant species growing on two abandoned lead-acid battery waste-contaminated sites.

Methodology: Plant samples were collected in triplicates from these sites. Pb accumulation in different parts, translocation (TF) and bioaccumulation factors (BCF) as well as cellular distribution of Pb among the cell organelles (cell wall, mitochondria, plastids, nucleus and soluble fraction) were determined.

Results: Among the plant species (Gomphrena celosioides, Sporobolus pyramidalis, Imperata cylindrica, Chromolaena odorata, Cynodon. dactylon, Rhynchospora corymbosa and Eleusine indica) found on these sites, G. celosioides had the highest Pb concentration (12, 657 mg/kg ) in its shoot and the highest BCF (18.66) and TF (25.62) while others had TF and BCF values that were less than 1. S. pyramidalis and E. indica had lower Pb accumulation.  Pb was mostly accumulated in the cell wall and there was an increase in the production of phenolics, flavonoids and chlorophyll.

Conclusion: G. celosioides can therefore be described as a Pb hyperaccumulator and its Pb is mostly accumulated in the cell wall.

Open Access Review Article

Review on SYI (Sustainable Yield Index) of Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)c

Dharam Singh Meena, Chirag Gautam, Hari Mohan Meena

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2017/33759

Wheat is the major cereal and staple food crop of most of the northern regions of the country. Productivity of wheat in India is very low compared to other major producer countries of the world such as France (72542 Hg/ha), China (50505 Hg/ha) but sustainable yield index (0.832) is more compared to the China (0.800) and Russia (0.738) which indicate that there is no significant increment in the productivity of wheat and stagnation in the yield of wheat in India over a period of time. However, by identifying sub-optimal conditions an efficient scientific management can improve the wheat yield potential of the country to meet the future demand of food grain for increasing population.