Open Access Original Research Article

Soil Physical Responses of a Compacted Sports Field Following Various Core Aerification Techniques

P. J. Brown, J. L. Atkinson, L. B. McCarty, V. L. Quisenberry

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/21694

Aims: Soil compaction is detrimental to turfgrass health and potentially hazardous to users of sports field participants. Previous research has evaluated numerous core aeration programs and their effects on water infiltration and thatch levels in a myriad of soil series under various management programs. The goal of this study was to identify detailed soil responses of a highly compacted, multi-purpose sports field to different soil aerification techniques while minimizing the negative impact of core removal on turfgrass quality. 

Study Design: The study was designed as a randomized complete block with 4 replications and a 2 × 2 factorial treatment arrangement.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted over two years on Clemson University’s band practice field, Clemson, SC, USA.

Methodology: The study evaluated deep (17.8 cm) and shallow (7.6 cm) tine core aerification and number of yearly aerification events on several soil and turf parameters. Extracted cores were either removed or incorporated back into the plots. 

Results: Little effect on turfgrass quality was observed due to mowing height (2.65 cm) masking any reduction in turfgrass density. Deep tine aerification lowered bulk density 5% in the first year compared to shallow tine aerification. In year one, infiltration was increased 29% after deep tine core aeration and 34% when cores were removed after aerification.

Conclusion: Treatment effects were not as drastic as studies conducted in sand based soils, reflecting the necessity of a perpetual soil aerification program in clay-based soils.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Drought Stress on Canopy Temperature, Growth and Yield Performance of Cowpea Varieties

J. B. Ndiso, G. N. Chemining’wa, F. M. Olubayo, H. M. Saha

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/21844

Aim: To evaluate the influence of drought stress on canopy temperature, growth and yield performance of cowpea.

Study Design: The experiments were laid out in a split plot design, with main plots arranged into three replications as a randomized complete blocks design. Water stress level was assigned to the main plot while the cowpea variety was assigned to the subplot.

Place and Duration of Study: Study was carried out at Pwani University research farm in July – October 2011/2012 cropping season.

Methodology: The treatments comprised three water stress levels (no water stress, water stress at vegetative stage and water stress at flowering stage) and 11 cowpea varieties: KVU 419, Khaki, K80, Macho, Kaima koko, Nyeupe, KVU 27-1, Nyekundu, M66, Kutambaa and Mwandato. The data collected included: Ground cover, canopy temperature, chlorophyll content, leaf number, days to anthesis, shoot dry matter at maturity, pods per plant, grains per pod, 100-grain weight and grain yield. 

Results: Water stress imposed at vegetative growth stage and flowering reduced cowpea growth attributes, ground cover and chlorophyll content, but increased canopy temperature, time to anthesis, harvest index, grain yield and yield components for most varieties. Water stress at vegetative and flowering stages increased time to anthesis by 4 and 7 days, respectively.

Conclusion: The impact of water stress on growth is dependent on the cowpea variety. Moderate stress may be beneficial if cowpea is grown for grain production but not if grown for vegetable production. Cowpea varieties which were superior in yield and high harvest indices under water stress included Nyekundu, KVU 27-1, M66, and KVU 419.

Open Access Original Research Article

Micronutrient Composition of Soils and Supported Solanum scabrum in Bafut Sub-division (North-West Cameroon)

Margaret Awah Tita, Primus Azinwi Tamfuh, Pierre Wotchoko, Alice Magha, Rebecca Bienkaa Azinwi

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-14
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/20391

Soil-plant metal interaction is vital in plant metabolism and on effects related to deficiency and toxicity, yet has received very little attention in terms of research in developing countries. The aim of the present study was to investigate the composition of Zn, Cu, Mn and Fe in soils and grown huckleberry (Solanum scabrum) in Bafut Sub-division (North-West Cameroon). Soils and huckleberry samples were collected in North and South Bafut in the rainy and dry seasons. The micronutrient levels in Solanum scabrum and soils were measured by Atomic Absorption Spectrometry. The results revealed that the metal levels of the soils were within the permissible range for agricultural soils. In the vegetables, only Fe and Mn, the most represented metals, were within the adequate and normal levels for optimum plant growth and human consumption, while Cu and Zn contents suggested a dietary intake deficiency for the inhabitants of the study area. The soil-metal transfer factors were globally less than 1 (0.03 to 0.95), lowest for Cu and highest for Fe. Between sites, Fe contents were fairly higher in South Bafut soils, while Zn, Mn and Cu were higher in North Bafut soils. These differences could be explained by the variation in the nature of parent rock in both localities and the slightly acidic soil pH which influences the solubility, mobility and bioavailability of soil nutrients. Between seasons, there was no significant difference (P<.05) between metal concentrations of soils and Solanum scabrum, except for Cu in the dry season vegetables. The present work suggests that S. scabrumcould serve as a cheaper source of micronutrients especially Fe and Mn for the local inhabitants of Bafut and beyond.


Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Spacing on Grain Yield and Yield Attributes of Three Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Varieties Grown in Rain-fed Lowland Ecosystem in Ghana

Buri Mohammed Moro, Issaka Roland Nuhu, Essien Ato Martin

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/21911

Row transplanting is one of the good agronomic practices being promoted for lowland rice production in Ghana. The recently introduced ‘Sawah’ system  promotes effective land preparation, good water management and row transplanting as well as the use of hand tools for weed control in lowland rice production. To determine the appropriate crop density, a trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of different spacing on three rice varieties (Sikamo, Jasmine 85, Marshall). The experimental design was a split plot with four replications. Spacing which served as main treatments included: S1 (20 cm x 20 cm); S2 (20 cm x 25 cm); S3 (25 cm x 15 cm); S4 (15 cm x 15 cm) and S5 (30 cm x 10 cm). Rice was transplanted at 2 seedlings per stand. Results showed that spacing significantly affected tiller production, number of panicles per m2, total biomass and paddy yield. Both the number of tillers per stand and number of panicles per m2 were significantly reduced under closer spacing than wider spacing in the order: S1 = S2 > S3 > S4 = S5. Highest grain yield was obtained at 20 cm x 25 cm (11.4 t ha-1) and 20 cm x 20 cm (10.9 t ha-1) for all the three varieties while lowest grains yield (3.0” t ha-1) was recorded at 30 cm x 10 cm spacing. For increased yields and easy adoption of simple hand tools for weed control, wider spacing of 25 cm x 20 cm and 20 cm x 20 cm is recommended for rain-fed lowland rice production in Ghana.


Open Access Original Research Article

Root Architectural Development and Yield Sensitivity of Phosphorus Tolerant Common Bean under Low Soil Phosphorus and Drought

Namugwanya Margaret, John Stephen Tenywa, Erasmus Otabbong, Twaha Ali Basamba

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/19451

Aims: The study assessed the effect of limited soil phosphorus and drought on yield sensitivity and root architectural development of low phosphorus tolerant common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) materials

Study Design: This was a randomised complete block design in which 2*3*5 factorial treatment combinations of drought, P levels and genotypes, respectively.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in Central Uganda; Nakasongola representing a drought-stress and Mukono Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MUZARDI) representing non-drought-stress for two rainy seasons (March-June and August -December 2014).

Methodology: In each study site, four low phosphorus tolerant genotypes (AFR703-1, AFR708, JESCA, and MCM2001 using K131 as a local check) were planted in plots treated with 0, 60 and 160 kg P ha-1 in the form of Triple Super Phosphate.

Results: The P-treatments neither had significant influences on grain yield nor root response; and no significant interactions with drought and genotypes. Yield did not significantly vary by drought treatments, but by genotypes (P<0.001), with AFR708 registering the highest yield of 1122 kg ha-1. Drought-stress induced significant root development, namely adventitious roots, tap and lateral root lengths, and total root lengths, in some genotypes.  Genotype AFR703-1 and AFR708 had an edge over the local check; they produced multiple root systems. 

Conclusion: Under drought stress, the AFR gene pool was superior in root development, namely number of adventitious and lateral roots, and taproot and lateral root length. In contrast, grain yield of these materials was suppressed by drought stress.

Open Access Original Research Article

A Life Cycle Assessment: The Use of Sewage Sludge in Ornamental Plant Growing

TAŞ Birol

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-5
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/22279

Today, the amount of the sewage sludge coming from domestic and industrial waste water which appear due to population increase, industrialization and urban growth has reached a level that is threatening human health and the environment. It is of crucial importance that the sewage sludge is removed with environmental-friendly methods for the protection of the environment. In this scope, the waste water sewage sludge is used in agricultural areas, forest areas, parks-gardens, recreational grounds, recreation of areas, urban landscaping as well as in arboriculture, and in growing ornamental plants as organic fertilizers, germination media and growth media. In ornamental plant growth, which has an economical value, the use of sewage sludge helps to decrease the high production costs and thus contributes to the economy of the country creating a new alternative field in removing the sewage sludge.