Open Access Original Research Article

Water, Sediment and Nutrient Retention in Native Vegetative Filter Strips of Southern Brazil

Fernando Rodrigo Bortolozo, Nerilde Favaretto, Jeferson Dieckow, Anibal de Moraes, Fabiane Machado Vezzani, Éder David Borges da Silva

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 426-436
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/13788

Vegetative filter strips (VFS) are areas adjacent to watercourses with the purpose of reducing sediment and nutrients contained within runoff water from cropland. The aim of this study was to evaluate the retention of water, sediment and nutrients in VFSs with 5, 10, 20 and 30 m widths exposed to simulated runoff water. The VFS chosen for this study were populated by native herbaceous vegetation with a predominance of grasses from South of Brazil. To simulate runoff water, a flow of 30 L min-1 was applied to all plots. Simulated runoff water contained 3.22 g L-1 of sediment and the nutrients concentration was 62.2; 40.9 and 170.3 mg L-1 de P, NH4-N and NO3-N, respectively. As expected, we found the VFS (30 m) could retain a greater quantity of nutrients (>80%), water (66%) and sediment (84%). However, we found the VFS (of width 10 m) was the most efficient when considering area against nutrient (>70%), water (42%) and sediment (73%) retention. With a ever expanding human population and intensive land use in Brazil, efficient use of VFSs could reduce water pollution from agriculture field.

Open Access Original Research Article

Phyto-sociological Assessment of Sacred Groves in Kathmandu, Nepal

Laxmi Joshi Shrestha, Mohan Devkota, Bhuvan Keshar Sharma

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 437-444
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/13350

Phyto-sociological studies were conducted in Bajrabarahi and Pashupati Sacred Groves of Kathmandu, Nepal for the comparative analysis of tree species diversity in the year 2012-2013. Concentric circular plots with radius of 20m were used to collect necessary information along four and eight parallel transects in Bajrabarahi and Pashupati Sacred Groves, respectively. Similarity Index showed that more than 57% tree species are shared by both the groves whereas Maturity Index showed that Bajrabarahi Sacred Grove has more mature trees (33.9) than Pashupati Scared Grove (26). Based on Importance Value Index three different forest types, namely - Schima-Pyrus, Myrsine-Persea and Quercus-Myrsine, were identified in Pashupati Sacred Grove whereas, Bajrabarahi Sacred Grove incorporated only one forest type of Neolitsea cuipala. The Shannon-Weiner Species Diversity Index, Evenness and number of tree species of Pashupati Sacred Grove was higher than that of Bajrabarahi Sacred Grove, whereas the canopy coverage of Bajrabarahi Sacred Grove was higher than Pashupati Sacred Grove. Local community initiations are more effective management system than the government management system for tree diversity conservation, in sacred groves of Kathmandu.

Open Access Original Research Article

Soil Physical Properties and Wheat Yield as Influenced by Varying Levels of Different Organic Materials

Kashif Bashir, Safdar Ali, Shahzada Sohail Ijaz, Muhammad Azim Malik, Ijaz Ahmed

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 445-454
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/13475

The quantity and quality of organic amendments play vital role in changing or amending the soil physical properties and crop yield. The improvement in soil physical properties and crop growth is well correlated with the organic carbon status of soil. The behavior of carbon supplied through different materials may vary in the soil. This study was designed with an objective to observe the variation in the response to the different manures applied in the soil with respect to differences in physical properties and crop yield. To accomplish this objective a field trial was executed in September, 2011 at two different sites i.e. Research Farm, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi and Koont Farm, Chakwal, using wheat as a test crop for two years (2012 and 2013). Three organic amendments i.e. Municipal solid waste compost (MSWC), Farmyard manure (FYM) and Poultry litter (PL) each at four levels i.e. 0, 0.25, 0.50 and 1% of soil organic carbon were applied in a two factorial randomized complete block design with four replications. The manures were characterized on the basis of humic (Humic acid and Fulvic acid) and non humic (Total polysaccharides and Microbial biomass carbon). Soil samples were analyzed for field saturated hydraulic conductivity, total organic carbon, bulk density, moisture content and wheat crop yield. The results showed clear differences in physical properties with respect to the different applied materials. These results suggest that the variation among the organic amendments depends upon the humic composition of materials rather than total organic carbon.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Waste Dumpsites on Water and Air Qualities in Abakaliki, Southestern Nigeria

C. Njoku

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 455-460
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/12266

An experiment was conducted in Abakaliki Urban to evaluate the effect of the waste dumpsites on air and water qualities. Four replicate water samples were collected from: A – Rain water at CAS Campus (Control- Non-dumpsite); B – River near rice mill waste dumpsite; C – River near domestic waste dumpsite; D – River near timber waste dumpsite. The samples collected from these locations were taken to laboratory for analyses of selected heavy metals (Pb, Zn, Cd, Cu and Cr). Similarly, air was monitored every month for a period of four months for the following gases; NO2, CO, NH3, H2S using portable gas monitors in each of the following sites: A – Non-dumpsite at CAS Campus (control); B – Rice mill waste dumpsite; C – Domestic waste dumpsite; D – Timber waste dumpsite. With exception of Zn and Cr which were non-significant, there was a significant (p<0.05) change among the different rivers near the dumpsites in concentrations of Cu, Cd and Pb. Control recorded the lower values of Pb, Zn, Cd, Cu and Cr than the rivers near dumpsites. There was a significant (p<0.05) difference in the concentration of CO, H2S and NO2 and a non-significant (p<0.05) change in NH3 in the dumpsites studied. Also, the atmospheric environment of the dumpsites had a higher concentrations of CO, H2S, NO2 and NH3 than rain water at CAS campus. With the exception Cd and Pb, these pollutants lie within the acceptable level recommended by World Health organization. This work recommended that a better method of waste management such as reuse, recycling and incineration should be adopted in Abakaliki in managing their wastes in order to improve water and air qualities.

Open Access Original Research Article

Pedo-transfer Function of Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity and Soil Loss under Vetiver Alleys for Soil Fertility and Aggregation

I. D. Edem, P. Okoko

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 461-474
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/13036

The study was carried out in Runoff Research plots of Soil Science Department near Forestry Arboretum, University of Uyo, to assess the relation of saturated hydraulic conductivity to soil loss and spacing effect of vetiver alleys in controlling erosion. The experimental area of 0.24 ha on 10% slope was divided into four plots; each measuring 40 x 5 m2 with three replicates and separated by 25 cm earthen bund. After land clearing and field preparation, vetiver plantlets raised in nursery were transplanted into the field after four weeks when at least three new tillers appear. The planting of vetiver grass (VGS) was across the plots at VGS spacing of 10, 20, and 40 m intervals, while the forth plot served as control. Rainfall data were collected and soil loss and soil retained by vetiver hedges were measured using erosion pins and saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) for each plot was measured by the laboratory constant head core method. Analyzed results showed that, in the month of May, average rainfall of 219.20 mm caused a mean total of 0.54 cm ha-1 of soil loss, of which only 10 m vetiver plots retained soil of about 0.03 cm ha-1, other vetiver plots including the control plots did not retain any soil. In June, 10 m plots retained 0.07 cm ha-1, whereas 20 m plots yielded 0.04 cm ha-1, and 40 m plots 0.02 cm ha-1. Ksat ranged from 5.91 to 7.33 cm hr-1 in the control plots, 7.88 to 20.15 cm hr-1 in 10 m spacing, 8.06 to 13.47 cm hr-1 in 20 m plots and from 6.93 to 7.69 cm hr-1 in the 40 m vetiver plots. Soil losses across the experimental plots were relatively high in the month of June in both vetiver and non-vetiver plots because of high intensity of rainfall (1108 mm). But the soil loss in vetiver plots was significantly lower than that of non-vetiver plots. This result proved that under vetiver soil conservation practice, the variability in the amount of Ksat might not be exclusively correlate with soil loss, but soil loss in the field increased during the precipitation of a particular day due to the antecedent moisture content with reduced 0.5 mm aggregates.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Irrigation Water pH on Some Soil Properties and Growth of Some Pear Rootstocks Grown on Sand and Calcareous Soils

Wafai El-Hosseni Ahmed, Hanaa M. Sherif

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 475-493
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/10000

To study effect of irrigation water pH and soil type on growth of some pear rootstocks and some soil properties, two rootstocks (Pyrus communis and Pyrus betulaefolia) were grown on two soils (sand and calcareous) during successive seasons of 2010 and 2011. pH values of irrigation water were 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 7.5 and pH 8.0. The experiment was performed in Horticultural Research Institute farm, Giza, Egypt. The tested soil properties were chemical analysis of soil water past extract, pH, soil texture and available nutrients (P, K, Fe, Zn and Mn). The following growth parameters were recorded plant height leaves number/plant, new current shoots number, vegetative growth dry weight, roots number, roots length, roots diameter. Obtained data showed significant effects for pH irrigation water and soil type on some of studied plant growth parameters and some of tested soil measurements. Data showed the importance nature of pH source in irrigation water i.e. chemical analysis of irrigation water. Pyrus betulaefolia was more tolerant to pH value variations in irrigation water than Pyrus communis.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Cashew Leaves and Stem-Bark Extracts on the Germaination of Maize

O. W. Nwokeocha, B. S. Ezumah

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 494-498
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/14409

A study was carried out on Anacardium occidentale Linn. (cashew) from Uturu community of Isukwuato local government in Abia state Nigeria to determine the effect of its leaves and stem-barks extracts on the sprouting of maize seeds. The seeds were allowed to sprout having met all the necessary conditions required for sprouting. While the seeds were placed for sprouting, concentrations of the extracts were prepared and administered to the seeds while the control which is distilled water was applied on the seeds used as control of the experiment. The rate of inhibition of the extracts gotten from the leaves and stem-barks increased with the increase in the concentration of the extracts. 75% concentration showed the highest inhibitory effect followed by 50% and then 25% likewise that of the stem-bark extracts. Results from this study, revealed that the leaves and stem-bark of the cashew plant contained substances that could inhibit the sprouting of seeds like that of maize.

Open Access Review Article

Climate Change and the Fate of Genetic Diversity of Crop Wild Relative Species

Ezekiel Amri

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 416-425
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/14094

Plant species are experiencing increasing challenges from climate change. Climate change is a serious threat to plant genetic diversity and the survival of many plant species which may substantially alter biodiversity. Crop wild relatives contribute many valuable genes for improvement of crops and being more resilient with the impact of climate change. Do these useful genetic traits from crop wild relatives make them safe from the impact for climate change on their genetic diversity? In this paper, the impact of climate change on crop wild relatives and how the impact will affect the genetic diversity of the species is discussed with focus on factors influencing the genetic diversity. Climate change is expected to cause changes in flowering phenology, plant-polinators interactions, seed dispersal and soil seed bank, the factors which influence the genetic reservoir, genetic composition and frequencies of alleles present in the population. Furthermore, the paper discussed how the climate change may play a direct role in promoting invasive plant species and potential for influencing a range of many plant pests and diseases which will profoundly affect the genetic diversity of plant populations. The consequences of loss of plant genetic diversity was also discussed which includes species being at risk of extinction. Finally, the paper highlighted in situ and ex-situ as important conservation and mitigation measures needed to preserve the genetic diversity of wild plant species.