Open Access Original Research Article

Population Structure and Regeneration Status of Trees Used in Making Wooden Mortar and Pestle in the Takamanda Rainforest South West Region, Cameroon

Njoh Roland Ndah, Eugene Loh Chia, Lucha Celestine Fonyikeh-Bomboh, Tata Yengo

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1374-1386
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/10367

Forest situated at the vicinity of communities hardly attained a fixed climax community over long period due to anthropogenic and natural factors. We investigated the density, population structure and regeneration status of six tree species (Annickia chlorantha, Baphia nitida, Irvingia gabonensis, Pterocarpus soyauxii, Terminalia ivorensis and Melicia excelsa) harvested for making of wooden mortars and pestles in three forest dependent communities. Data were collected through survey and focus group discussions with wood carvers. Results showed that, the highest tree density of 142.1 trees ha-1 and 54.4 trees ha-1 were recorded for Baphia nitida in unprotected and protected forest stands: respectively. The Melicia excelsa had density of 3.1 trees ha-1. Most of the trees diameters were within the class sizes 0.0-4.9cm and 5.0-9.9cm in unprotected and protected stands. A total of 248 mortars and 477 pestles were produced in 2007-2012 while in 2001-2006 a total of 155 mortars and 304 pestles were produced in the protected and unprotected stands of the Takamanda rainforest. Kajifu 1 recorded the highest mortar (179) and Pestles (437) while Kekukesem recorded the lowest mortars (96) and pestles (136) produced from 2001-2012. We noticed that, all targeted tree species were found facing harvesting pressure from the increasing human population.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Bio Fertilizers and Natural Minerals on Productivity and Fruit Quality of Olive Trees Cv. “Picual”

Mohamed Abd EL Shakoor El-Iraqy

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1387-1397
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/10607

A study was carried out during 2009 and 2010 growing seasons on olive cv. ‘Picual’, (12 years old), planted in a farm located at 50 kilometer from Cairo. The trees were planted at 6×6meters apart and grown in sandy soil and irrigated with drip irrigation from well (underground water). The effect of Pomace of the olive mill wastes, Compost, Rock phosphate, Feldspar alone or combined with Netropeine, Phosphoreine and Potaseine (bio-fertilizers) on vegetative growth, flowering, yield and fruit characteristics of olive trees cv. “Picual” was studied. Data showed that Compost alone increased shoot length and shoot diameter in the second season whereas, No. of leaves was significantly increased by Compost addition in both seasons compared to the other tested treatments. The addition of Rock phosphate alone followed by Compost plus pomace supported with bio-fertilizers significantly improved No. of inflorescences/m in the first season, only. Perfect flowers percentage and No. of retained fruits/m after June drop were improved by the Pomace provided with bio-fertilizers and Rock phosphate alone during both growing seasons. Feldspar treatment alone gave the superior values in pulp/seed ratio during the first season. Pomace enriched with bio-fertilizers and Compost improved fruit quality (fruit length, fruit diameter and pulp weight) during both seasons. Fruit and pulp weight were enhanced after treateing the plants with Pomace or Compost combined with biofertilizer. As for the yield, the Feldspar alone or Pomace and Compost plus bio-fertilizers gave the highest significant values compared to the control and other treatments.

Open Access Original Research Article

Relative Susceptibility of Dried Root/Tuber and Musa Chips to Red Flour Beetle (Tribolium casteneum) (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) Infestation

M. N. Chukwulobe, B. C. Echezona

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1398-1414
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/10739

Three Musa cultivars (false horn, french, and cooking banana) and eight roots/tubers (Colocasia esculenta, C. esculenta var antiquorum, Xanthosoma sagittifolium, Dioscorea alata, D. dumentorum, D. rotundata, sweet cassava and bitter cassava) were assayed for their relative susceptibility to flour beetle (Tribolium casteneum Herbst.) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) damage. Ten adult beetles (1- 7 days old) (5 males: 5 females) were introduced in containers to which 20 g of each dried chip sample was placed and arranged in completely randomised design with three replications. Susceptibility assessment was based on rate of chip damaged, percentage weight loss and adult survival, weight of powder produced and chips left. Bioassay on chips proximate, mineral and anti-nutrient compositions was also carried out. Rate of damage was higher amongst the agbagba (20.04 mg/day) compared to other Musa spp. Bitter cassava recorded the highest damage rate of 24.32 mg/day amongst the chips assayed, which was also higher than other cassava cultivars. X. sagittiffolium (5.57mg/day) and C. esculenta var antiquorum (6.14 mg/day) maintained higher rates of damage relative to C. esculenta (1.13 mg/day) in cocoyams. On yams, damage rate was significantly (p<0.05) higher on D. rotundata (12.24mg/day) compared to D. dumentorum (2.24mg/day) and D. alata (1.43) mg/day. Correlation and biplot analyses showed that though the susceptibility of bitter cassava to the pest attack was strong, it could not be tied to the biochemical contents analysed. Conversely, the resistance of C. esculenta was attributed to its strong and positive relationships to phenol, tannin, calcium and Fe. This result provides baseline information for breeders against stored produce pests.

Open Access Original Research Article

Relationships among Phenotypic, Chemical and Genetic Characteristics of Some Selected and Evaluated Carob Strains (Ceratonia siliqua)

A. A. Nahla

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1415-1427
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/10519

This study was conducted to assess the morphological, chemical and genetical diversity among eight carob female strains through two successive seasons (2011 and 2012) in Bourg El-Arab region of Alexandria governorate. The analyzed strains were highly significant for characters of pod weight fruit shape. Strains 2 and 4 always detected the highest approximated yield; this yield ranged from 26 to 28Kg/ tree. The obtained resultsof chemical composition (protein, sugar, tannin, total sugar, flavonoid and total phenol content) exhibit significant differences.
RAPD primers tested with the DNA of the eight carob strain, revealed percentage of polymorphism ranged from 10% (OPZ19) to 84.62% (OPA10). Moreover, eleven unique markers were identified with the tested strains. Dendrograms based upon chemical and genetical data clustered almost the same strains in the same group reflecting a relationship between chemical and genetical characteristics.

Open Access Original Research Article

Fertilizer Response of Traditional Rice Cultivars at Four Different Levels as Analyzed by Multi-Criteria Decision Making Model

A. L. Ranawake, U. G. S. Amarasinghe, S. G. J. N. Senanayake

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1428-1437
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/11329

Aims: to understand the effect of various polygenic traits on grain yield of traditional rice cultivars at four different fertilizer levels namely no fertilizer, x ½ recommended dose (x ½ RD), recommended dose (RD) andx2 recommended dose (x 2 RD).
Study Design: Randomized complete block design with four replicates.
Place and Duration of Study: Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, Mapalana, Sri Lanka from 2011 to 2013.
Methodology: Germinated seeds were planted in rows with 15 cm X 20 cm spacing. Experiment was conducted with four replications according to the randomized complete block design and each replicate consisted of three lines. Twenty plants were included in to each line. Data were collected on plant height (cm), number of tillers/plant, number of fertile tillers/plant, panicle length (cm), panicle weight (g), number of spikelets/panicle, number of fertile spikelets/panicle, 100 grain weight (g) and yield/plant (g). Path analysis was conducted to measure the degree of association between variables (traits). Multi-criteria decision-making model was used to rank the studied traditional rice genotypes according to the measured various yield attributing traits and the degree of association of each trait on yield as described by path analysis. Total effects of Path analysis were used as criteria weights to quantify the variables (traits). Data matrix was multiplied by the criteria weight to obtain the relative distances and cumulative values of relative distances were used to calculate the ideal distances (Lp). Genotypes were ranked according to the ideal distances (Lp) to understand the effect of fertilizer on yield and yield attributing factors of traditional rice genotypes at each fertilizer level. This procedure was applied separately to all of the four fertilizer levels.
Results: The effects of various yield attributing traits on grain yield/plant were varied with four different levels of fertilizer. The effect of plant height on yield/plant was decreased linearly with the increased fertilizer. The highest effect was recorded by the panicle weight (0.872) at X 2 RD. Plant height (0.215), number of fertile tillers/plant (0.864), panicle length (0.082), and number of fertile spikelets/panicle (0.870) recorded the highest effect on yield/plant at no fertilizer condition.
Conclusion: It emphasized the less fertilizer response of traditional rice genotypes. Excess application of fertilizer badly decreased the effect of yield attributing factors on final yield. Multi-criteria decision making model can be utilized to rank traditional rice genotypes according to their performances at different fertilizer levels.

Open Access Original Research Article

Growth Performance of Beach Bean (Canavalia maritima Thouars) on Three Soil Types Irrigated with Saline Water

Otitoloju Kekere

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1438-1452
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/11555

Beach bean (Canavalia maritima Thouars) is a wild legume distributed exclusively on coastal sand dunes, with potential of being domesticated for its nutritional attributes and utility in agriculture. A pot experiment was conducted to investigate its seedling performance under sand, loam and clay soils irrigated with 0 (control), 25, 50, 100, 150 and 200 mM NaCl saline water. In sand, mortality occurred only at 200 mM with 70% survival. Survival reduced at 150 and 200 mM to 80.48 and 56.34% respectively in loam. In clay, 61.8 and 43.14% plants survived at 100 and 150 mM while no plants survived at 200 mM. Growth parameters including number of nodes, internode length, plant height, number of leaves and branches, root length, root number and relative growth rate increased significantly (P=0.05) at 25-150 and 25-100 mM NaCl in sand and loam respectively, but decreased significantly (P=0.05) at higher concentrations, compared to the control. Fresh and dry mass of plant parts and total biomass in sand and loam followed similar trends with the growth parameters. All the variables decreased significantly (P=0.05) in clay with increasing concentration of saline water. Stem girth increased while leaf area and leaf total chlorophyll decreased significantly (P=0.05) in all the soil types irrigated with saline water. Root/shoot ratio also increased but was significant (P=0.05) only in sand. Salinity induced leaf and stem succulence, led to a significant (P=0.05) reduction in pre-dawn xylem water potential and caused accumulation of Na+ and Cl- in the plant tissues. Canavalia maritima can be propagated in sand and loam soils, with optimal growth when irrigated with saline water containing 25-150 mM and 25-100mM NaCl respectively.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effects of Liming, Soil-Moisture Regimes, Application of Sulfur and Some Micronutrients on Nutrients Availability in Soil-Plant System and Yield of Rice in Acid Alluvial Soil

Ashok Kumar Karan, Sandipta Kar, Vikas Kumar Singh

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1453-1467
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/6660

The productivity of wetland rice is constrained by the reduced availability of sulfur (S) and micronutrients like boron (B), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn) in acid alluvial soil of West Bengal, India. A greenhouse study was conducted for two seasons (wet and winter 2007) using acid alluvial soil (Inceptisol, Durgapur, Silty loam) to evaluate the effects of liming, soil moisture regime and application of sulfur, boron, copper and zinc on the availability of applied nutrients, growth and yield of rice. The effects of application of lime (2.0 t/ha) over no lime; alternate flooding and drying (AFD) over continuous flooding (CF) and moisture regime maintained at field capacity (FC); and nutrients viz., S, B, Cu and Zn on growth and yield of rice were assessed. Rice cv. International Rice 36 (IR 36) was grown with N:P:K applied at the rate of 60:30:30 mg /kg of soil. S, B, Cu, and Zn were applied at the rate of 10, 0.5, 1.5 and 5 mg/kg of soil, respectively. Application of 22.4 kg S, 1.12 kg B, 3.36 kg Cu, and 11.2 kg Zn/ha significantly enhanced the growth and yield of rice over control in alluvial soil. Yield response of rice to the application of S, B, Cu and Zn was further improved (22.15%) by liming and alternate flooding and drying during the growing season.

Open Access Original Research Article

A Survey on Heavy Metal (Metalloids) Concentration in Selected Acidic and Volcanic Soils in Tanzania

Meserecordias W. Lema, Jasper N. Ijumba, Karoli N. Njau, Patrick A. Ndakidemi

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1468-1478
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/11072

A total of 12 soil samples from four different sites across the United Republic of Tanzania (URT) were collected and analysed for heavy metals (metalloids) (V, Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Cd, Hg and Pb) concentration. The technique used was Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF). Results show that the concentrations of 77.8% of the analysed heavy metals (V, Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Pb and Hg) were above the phytotoxicity limits while the rest, 22.3%, (As and Cd) were below the limits. The fact that 77.8% of the analysed heavy metals have concentrations above phytotoxicity limits raises a genuine concern on the favourability of these soils for agricultural purposes.

Open Access Original Research Article

Biological Nitrogen Fixation and Pod Yield of Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) as Influenced by a Salt-affected Alfisol at Kadawa, Nigeria

A. I. Gabasawa, H. Mohammed, A. A. Yusuf

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1479-1489
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/11391

The cost of nitrogen (N) fertilizers continues to rise besides the fertilizer’s role as a potential pollutant. Amelioration and/or improvement in the fertility of poor soils using such inorganic fertilizers prove less feasible as such. The rhizobium-legume symbiosis is, therefore, suggested as an alternative to solving the soil N fertility problem. Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) can be an important means for a continued and sustainable productivity of N-demanding agricultural crops. Most legumes are very sensitive to saline condition yet the rhizobia they house, due to adaptation of some strains to saline conditions, are not. Assessment of groundnut for BNF on saline soils cannot be overestimated, especially as more farmers are coming into irrigated agriculture. Besides, there is little to no reported work on the subject, particularly on the groundnut genotypes under study. A screen house trial was conducted in 2012 at the Department of Soil Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. The study aimed at determining the symbiotic nitrogen fixation of some groundnut genotypes grown on a salt-affected soil. The treatments consisted of six groundnut genotypes (SAMNUT 10, 11, 21, 22, 23 and 24) and two soil types (saline and non-saline). A non-nodulating groundnut genotype (ICGL-5) was used as a reference crop. The treatments were laid in a completely randomized design (CRD) with three replications. Indices of nitrogen fixation and yield were recorded. Effective and total nodule numbers were highest in SAMNUT 24 (19 plant-1) and 22 (34 plant-1). Although there was no statistical difference between the genotypes in terms of N2-fixed, highest amount of dinitrogen fixed was recorded for SAMNUT 21 (2, 500 mg N plant-1) and the least for SAMNUT 11 (930 mg N plant-1). SAMNUT 23 had the highest pod yield and SAMNUT 11 the least. Soil salinity did not affect N2 fixation statistically although the normal (non-saline) soil tends to positively influence most other parameters. Further studies on roles of other biochemical factors would assist in understanding the phenomena more.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Tillage, Fertilizer and Sorghum/Desmodium Intercrop Cultivation on Soils’ Quality and Yield of Sorghum in an Alfisol of a Northern Guinea Savanna of Nigeria

Odunze Azubuike Chidowe, Tseja Majiyebo Joshua, Abu Sunday, Tarfa Bitrus Dawi, Mel Oluoch, Khan Zeyaur

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1490-1503
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2014/9402

Soil quality protection under intensive land use and fast economic development has become a major challenge for sustainable resource use in the developing countries such as Nigeria. Conventional tillage practice is commonly practiced at land preparation and effect of this on soil quality for sustainable productivity was investigated in this study, in comparison with No Till, Conservation tillage, and split old ridge practices in combination with four nitrogen and three phosphorus fertilizer rates. Sorghum was the test crop. Results show that the soils were initially acid (pH 5.0 to 6.0), had low organic carbon (2.3 to 2.5gkg-1), total nitrogen (0.05gkg-1) and low to moderate available phosphorus (6.7 to 8.5mgkg-1) and needed restoration to support sustainable agricultural production. Tillage, sorghum/Desmodium and N and P fertilizer managements imposed showed that No Till practice (SDNT) sequestered significantly (P<0.05) higher organic carbon value (6.9 gkg-1), followed by Conservation tillage with incorporated and relayed D. Uncinatum (SDIC 5.8 gkg-1), Split old ridges with relayed D. uncinatum (SDOR 4.9gkg-1) and least, Conventional tillage (SC) without D. uncinatum (SC3.6 gkg-1).Total nitrogen content of the soils significantly improved under SDIC (0.17gkg-1), followed by SDOR (0.16gkg-1), SC (0.15gkg-1) and SDNT (0.13gkg-1) that were significantly different between treatments. Conservation tillage with incorporated and relayed D. uncinatum treatment (SDIC) resulted in significantly (P<0.05) higher (1.48tha-1) sorghum grain yield, followed by No-Till (SDNT) with D. uncinatum live mulch (1.32tha-1) that was significantly higher than yield under Split old ridges (1.20tha-1) with D. uncinatum live mulch (SDOR).Phosphorus fertilizer rates significantly enhanced stover yield, as 26.4 kgPha-1 rate resulted in the highest Stover yield (4.50tha-1) and the least (4.11 tha-1) from 13.2kgPha-1. Also, 50kgNha-1 significantly enhanced Stover yield of sorghum (4.83tha-1) greater than the other treatments. Conservation tillage practice therefore resulted in high sorghum grain yield (1.48 tha-1), attributed to improved soil quality conditions; optimum soil pH, available phosphorus, soil carbon and total nitrogen, that prevailed to support high sorghum grain yield. Soil quality (SQ) under the Conservation tillage practice (SDIC) was therefore rated SQ1 for being superior over other management practices evaluated.c