Open Access Original Research Article

An Approaching the Thermal Resistivity Behavior for a Porous Media with Different Percentages of Gravels

Carles M. Rubio

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 10-15
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/15498

Aims: To evaluate the influence of the coarse elements on the relationship between thermal and hydric soil properties.

Study Design: The samples were obtained from Camí de Can Solé (NE of Spain), and analyzed under laboratory conditions.

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Agri-Food Engineering and Biotechnology, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, between June 2011 and Setember 2011.

Methodology: Thermal conductivity was determined using thermal sensors of single needle. The experiments were carried out on monitorized soil columns where their water content and thermal properties were continuously recorded. Different percentages of gravels were added to the samples.

Results and Conclusion: A dataset related to water content and thermal resisitivity was gathered. The variability of the data depended on the coarse fragments. The relationship between thermal conductivity and water content show higher differences when the coarse elements were about 10% and 50%, being especially relevant to the position of the thermal sensor inside the soil samples

Open Access Original Research Article

Remediation of Soil Contaminated with Motor Spirit using Compost Material

O. O. AdeOluwa, A. O. Ogundeji, D. O. Agbeyegbe

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 16-25
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/14788

Spillage of premium motor spirit (PMS) on land, due to either vandalisation of pipelines or accidents during transportation of petroleum in developing countries like Nigeria, could pollute agricultural lands and reduce productivity. This study considered compost to remediate a premium motor spirit polluted soil for agricultural purposes using Amaranthus caudatus as a test crop. The experiment was conducted in two years and two sowing phases each. The 1st study was done using potted soil samples while the 2nd study was a field trial. Compost treatment was applied in both experiments at 100 kgN/ha, 200 kgN/ha and 300 kgN/ha and Pollution treatments were heavy (3P), Medium (2P), and Light (1P) pollution at 1,384 ba/ha, 692 ba/ha and 384 ba/ha respectively. Treatment combinations were varied for both experiments. Results showed nil growth of amaranths for the 1st study due to premium motor spirit pollution and also showed that compost applied at 300 kgN/ha at all levels of pollution in the two studies resulted in better response of amaranths, while the 200 kg N/ha compost under Medium pollution (2P = 692 ba/ha) also resulted in better yield of amaranths in the residual field experiment. The results indicate that ameliorative effects of compost seem to increase with the increase in the level of amendment. This could be a cheap way for local farmers in Nigeria and other developing countries with similar occurrences to remediate their farmlands in case of premium motor spirit pollution.

Open Access Original Research Article

Farmers’ Response to Organic and Inorganic Fertilizer Utilization on Maize Cropping Systems in Kisii County, Kenya

M. Samson Makone, A. Evans Basweti, C. Javan Ngeywo

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 26-33
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/15009

Decline in soil fertility has been identified as a major factor hindering maize productivity globally; the majority of these soils are deficient in nitrogen, phosphorous and organic matters. Low maize productivity in Kenya is attributed to decline in soil fertility. Improving soil fertility is necessary to achieve sustainable maize productivity among small-scaled farmers. However, farmers’ response toward the application of fertilizers is not enough. This study sought to determine farmers’ response towards the usage of organic and inorganic fertilizer in maize cropping systems among the maize producers. A simple random sampling technique was employed to achieve a sample size of 246 respondents from accessible household population of 10,800 maize farmers. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data, which was then subjected to Microsoft Excel and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software (Version 20) for analysis. The findings indicated that, the mean age of the farming population was 42 years with an average farming experience of 18 years. Majority of the farmers had secondary education as their highest level of education. The findings revealed that 90.2% of the farmers use di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) fertilizer; the findings further indicated that there was prolonged single use of DAP fertilizer in the same piece of land for a period of 6-10 years continuously. 84.1% of farmers applied inorganic fertilizer while 58.9% of the farmers used manure or manure and inorganic fertilizer. In terms of soil analysis and replenishment, the findings revealed that there was poor response towards soil testing and lime application. A further 94.7% of the farmers indicated they had never carried out soil testing in their farm while 92.3% of the farmers had not applied lime to normalize soil pH. Farmers in Kisii County need to seek for soil testing services as a guide to determine which fertilizer to be applied and use of lime if it is needed be as well as use of organic manure to improve soil properties and also make use of zero-tillage method of cultivation to allow soil nutrients built up. These recommendations will lead to an increase in production of maize to an optimal level in Kenya.

Open Access Original Research Article

Historical Assessment of Forestland Conversion to Oil Palm Plantations in Riau and West Kalimantan, Indonesia

Syed Aziz Ur Rehman, Supiandi Sabiham, Untung Sudadi, Syaiful Anwar

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 34-49
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/13263

Forest’s conversion associated with the expansion of industrial scale oil palm plantations in the two provinces of Indonesia (Riau and West Kalimantan) was documented using Landsat images that were visually interpreted to create a province-wide map of 11 different land cover types spanning three temporal periods (1990 to 2000, 2000 to 2010 and 2010 to 2013). After analyzing all regions and temporal periods in both provinces only 1.66% (30,452 ha) of oil palm plantations originated on land derived directly from undisturbed forests (0.01% Primary Dryland Forest, 0.00% Primary Mangrove Forest and 1.65% Primary Swamp Forest), while 64.78% (1.18 Mha) were established on land previously covered with disturbed forest (12.14% Secondary Dryland Forest, 0.67% Secondary Mangrove forest and 51.97% Secondary Swamp Forest). Conversion of Dry and Wet Scrublands was documented as 23.82% (0.43 Mha) with 7.43% from Dry Scrubland and 16.39% from Wet Scrubland. Forest conversion to establish oil palm, including both undisturbed and disturbed forest of all types of habitats summed over all temporal periods was proportionally greater in Riau (70.03%: 0.84 Mha), compare to West Kalimantan (59.52%: 0.37 Mha). In both provinces, the largest sources of land for new plantations were Secondary Swamp Forest (43.43%: 0.27 Mha) in West Kalimantan, while (56.40%; 0.68 Mha) in Riau.

Open Access Original Research Article

Implementing of RCPs Scenarios for the Prediction of Evapotranspiration in Egypt

M. A. Abdrabbo, A. A. Farag, W. M. S. El-Desokey

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 50-63
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/12721

This study investigates the projected changes in evapotranspiration in Egypt, with a focus on the Delta, Middle and Upper Egypt regions. Maximum and minimum air temperature were statistically downscaled and compared with current climate (defined as the period 1971–2000). FAO-56 Penman-Monteith equation was used to estimate ETo using climatic data  Evapotranspiration is estimated based on the predicted maximum and minimum temperature under four Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) scenarios (RCP2.6 – RCP4.5 – RCP6.0 and RCP8.5) during three time series (2011-2040, 2041-2070 and 2071-2100) Other climate factors i.e., radiation, relative humidity and wind speed, used from current climate data. The obtained results revealed that maximum and minimum air temperatures increased under all RCPs scenarios compared to current data. Moreover, the RCP8.5 had the highest maximum and minimum air temperature compared to the other RCPs scenarios. It was found that for all future periods the annual evapotranspiration will increase for all agro-meteorological zones by uneven values. Results also revealed that ETo increased significantly in different tested time series compared to current ETo values. The values of ETo for the 2071-2100 period were higher than that for the 2011-2040 period or mid-term (2041-2070) period. The highest ETo values was predicted in this study by RCP8.5 during the 2071 – 2100 time series in the Upper Egypt region.

Open Access Review Article

Physiological Responses of Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to Drought Stress

Muhammad Kashif Naeem, Munir Ahmad, Muhammad Kamran, Muhammad Kausar Nawaz Shah, Muhammad Shahid Iqbal

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/9587

Drought is serious problem in many parts of the world in circumstances of rapid change in climatic conditions especially for rainfed agriculture. Among prevailing abiotic stresses, it is the most significant and severe factor inhibiting plant growth and production. Water deficiency in plant impairs the numerous physiological and metabolic functions. Selection of wheat genotypes that can tolerate water scarcity would be helpful tools for breeding program aiming to development of drought tolerant variety under water limited regions. Rapid development of new wheat varieties with the help of analytical breeding would be the most attractive approach. In this review paper, after the brief introduction about the present scenario of food insecurity, the impact of drought and about the targeted approaches for drought stress, we briefly review the already work done to deal with this environmental calamity (drought). We discussed in detail the important physiological traits (viz. proline content, relative water content, chlorophyll content, cell membrane stability and canopy temperature) having important role in wheat to estimate the drought tolerance and to improve the efficiency of crop breeding. This review paper highlights the role of physiological traits in enhancing the crop yield and their tolerance to water deficiency. The analytical breeding approach followed by the conventional strategies has already been engaged and more need to be employed in future for improving and developing the new wheat varieties, which should be perform better under drought condition. Analytical (physiological) breeding should become an important component of modern wheat breeding research.