Open Access Short Research Article

Effects of Different Sewage Sludge Concentrations on the Soil Microorganism Sensibility and Metals Accumulation during Helianthus annuus L. Cultivation

G. M. B. Bohm, T. L. Oliveira, E. M. Bohm, E. B. Bohm, P. J. Sanches

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/22570

The agricultural use of sewage sludge have been presented as an alternative both to reduce the volume of this environmental liability as to obtain a product to be used in agricultural soils as fertilizer. However, when the household sewage is also composed of water from the industrial area, the sludge is richer in potentially toxic elements. Hence, the present study aimed to evaluating the effects of different concentrations of sewage sludge on soil microbial activity and contents of Cd, Cu, Cr, Pb and Zn in soil, plant and seed. The experiment was conducted at the greenhouse during the crop season of 2012 to 2013, with evaluations of soil total organic carbon, microbial biomass carbon, metabolic quotient and heavy metals in soil, plant and seed. According to the results, application of 20 Mg ha-1 of sewage sludge promoted higher microbial activity, lower metabolic quotient and in increased production of dry plant matter. Resulted in 480.77 µg g-1of microbial carbon and 9.75% of soil organic carbon. Heavy metal contents in seeds were 1.29, 14.26, 1.52 and 80.57 mg kg-1 of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn, respectively, with the lead content above the maximum extent recommended in food by WHO (Word Health Organization).


Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of Zeolite Based Nitrogen Nano-fertilizers on Maize Growth, Yield and Quality on Inceptisols and Alfisols

A. Manikandan, K. S. Subramanian

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/22103

Nano-fertilizer technology is designed to deliver nutrients in a regulated pattern in correspondence with the crop demand thereby nutrient use efficiency can be improved without associated ill-effects. This present study hypothesize that nano-zeolite possesses extensive surface area and its coating or blending with the conventional nitrogenous fertilizers can regulate the release of nitrogen. This serves as an excellent slow release fertilizer that assists in sustained release of nitrogen that commensurate with crop growth without associated environmental harm. The newly developed intercalated N nano-fertilizer formulations had been tested using maize as a model system. The fate of N in the soil system was examined in order to gain insights of nano-fertilizer in promoting productivity of crops with higher N use efficiency. Response of maize plants to the fabricated fertilizers were tested in two greenhouse experiments of two distinct soil textures (Inceptisol – Periyanayakkan palayam soil series – clay loam and Alfisols - Irugur soil series- sandy loam). The grain N content of nanozeourea on inceptisol (Control: 0.26%; Treated: 0.32%) and alfisols (Control 0.48; Treated 0.76%) were higher consistently. The response was more pronounced in alfisol than inceptisol. The growth, yield, quality and nutrient uptake were consistently higher for nanozeourea treatment than conventional urea.


Open Access Original Research Article

Leaching Kinetics of Sulphates in Acidic Soil

Anuj Kumar Garg, A. K. Gupta, Ashu Rani

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/22368

Aims: Present study is concerned about the leaching kinetics of sulphate anions in soil using glass column method.

Study Design: we have focused our attention on the mechanism of solute transport via leaching.

Place of Study: Soil samples were collected from the barren field located in the industrial area near Hapur district

Methodology: The leaching study of sulphate is carried out in the laboratory by using the glass column. During the entire course of study the flow rate of deionised water or salts solution from glass column was maintained at 10±0.2 mL/10 min. Three salts of sulphates Na2SO4, MgSO4 and Al2(SO4)3 were used to study the leaching  kinetics of sulphates in soil.

Results: Initial leaching rate profiles are determined for each salt. On increasing [SO42-]i, LRobs values are seen to increase for all sulphate salts. The log-log plots of [SO42-]i and LRobs indicated to be the  fractional order in [SO42-]i. The effect of temperature on sulphate leaching was studied in the range 20-50°C. It is clear that total initially leachable content i.e. [SO42-]i increases with the increase in temperature, probably due to the mobilization and leaching of some insoluble sulphate. LRobs values increases with the size of cation. The results can be explained on the basis of covalent character and radii of the hydrated ions. Initial water content or water filled porosity (θ) of the soil column was varied from .33 to .51 cm3 cm-3. LRobs calculated values were found to increase only slightly on increasing initial water content of the soil column. Leached concentration were found time dependent and varied with time as the pore volume of effluent increased with time. The first order kinetics and Elovich model has been found to have excellent correlation for the desorption/Leaching of the sulphate confirmed by SEE and high r2 values. However there is little correlation for the zero order and parabolic profiles.

Conclusion: Present study proves that leaching of sulphate salts can be studied by initial rate method, which can also be applied for monitoring the fate of applied sulphate in agricultural fields and its diffusion into soil solution for plants uptake as well as in calculating the downward transportation of sulphate from polluted site to the underground water.

Open Access Original Research Article

Sawah Rice Farming Eco-technology Options for Enhancing Sustainable Nutrient Management and Rice Production in Degraded Inland Valleys of Southeastern Nigeria

J. C. Nwite, A. O. Onunwa, C. A. Igwe, T. Wakatsuki

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-19
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/20783

The decline in agricultural productivity in Nigeria is merely because the rural farmers which constitute the bulk of Nigerian crop farmers rely on the rainfall for their agricultural activities. Rice farmers in Ebonyi State, regarded as a major rice producing State in Nigeria rely on rain-fed agriculture. The water management option among the rice farmers in their lowland rice production in the area is the use of grass materials in the demarcation of the fields into basins for water storage without any form of water diversion from one place to another as a way of controlling the field water. In an attempt to replicate the successful way of controlling water in the African agro-ecosystems, otherwise known as “Japanese Satoyama watershed management model”, sawah rice cultivation technology has been introduced to West Africa in the last decades.

Sawah is generally described as a controlled water management system in the rice field which involved mainly bunding, puddling and leveling with inlets and outlets channels on the bunds for irrigation and drainage purposes. The irrigation water may be provided by rain water or underground water discharge through seepage or springs, or by rise in the level of a stream and river in an inland valley, or using modern source from well pumps, taps, canal and storage of large quantities of water in reservoirs or ponds. The study was conducted in an inland valley at Akaeze in 2010, 2011 and 2012 cropping seasons, to evaluate the effect of different water sources for sawah water management system and amendments on soil chemical properties and rice grain yield. A split- plot in a randomized complete block design was used to assess two factors at different levels. Three sources of water; rain-fed, spring type and pond type constituted the main plot, while the amendments, that constituted the sub- plots were replicated three times and were applied in the following manner: rice husk (RH) @ 10 t ha-1, rice husk ash (RHA) @ 10 t ha-1, poultry droppings (PD) @ 10 t ha-1, N.P.K. @ 400 kg ha-1 and no amendment @ 0 t ha-1. The results of the study showed that different water sources significantly (p < 0.05) improved the soil pH in the location.   Soil organic carbon, total nitrogen and cation exchange capacity were significantly (p < 0.05) increased within the period of study by both the different water sources and amendments. It was observed that the exchangeable acidity was statistically reduced by different water sources and amendments within the periods. It was also recorded that available phosphorous were positively improved by different water sources and amendments in different forms in the area. The result equally gave positive improvement on the rice grain yield by the studied factors for the three years. Generally, results showed a better performance of organic amendments over mineral fertilizer in some soil chemical properties and rice grain yield improvement. The interaction of a good water source in sawah water management and amendment practices was observed to be a good strategy for improving some soil chemical properties in the area.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Salicylic Acid, Benzoic Acid, and p-Coumaric Acid on Growth, Chlorophyll, Proline, and Vitamin C of Salinity-Stressed Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum)

Alaaldin Idris H. Khairy, Kwang Soo Roh

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/22396

Salinity is an important growth-limiting abiotic stress factor. Salicylic acid (S.A), Benzoic Acid (B.A) and p-coumaric acid (p-CA) are substances generally thought to play a crucial role in the enhancement of salt tolerance and regulation of growth and development in plants. This research was carried out to study the influence of Salicylic Acid (SA), Benzoic Acid (BA), and p-Coumaric acid (p-CA) on growth, contents of chlorophyll, proline and vitamin C in salinity-stressed tobacco plant (Nicotiana tabacum) grown In vitro. The results showed that Salinity (NaCl) stress impairs plant growth and inflicts severe physiological disorders. While supplementation of SA, BA and p-CA resulted in remarkable increases of all investigated biochemical components. Compared to the control, the high concentration of NaCl (150 mM) significantly reduced total fresh weight of tobacco. Total chlorophyll contents were remarkably increased by SA and BA treatments under 100 mM NaCl condition. The highest leaf and stem proline contents were recorded from the treatment of SA supplemented with 150 mM NaCl, while the lowest value was observed in p-CA + 0 mM NaCl treatment. Vitamin C contents were significantly increased by SA and BA treatments under 100 mM and 150 mM NaCl concentrations. SA and BA recovered the damage caused by high concentrations of salinity and enhanced salt tolerance in tobacco. Application of p-CA did not show significant differences compared to the control. This study suggests that SA and its derivatives could be used to overcome damages generated by salinity stress, enhance salt-tolerance and regulate plant growth and development.


Open Access Review Article

Quantifying the Occurrence and Ameliorating the Properties of Non-responsive Soils by Inorganic and Organic Fertilizers

Onesmo F. Assenga, Tileye Feyissa, Patrick A. Ndakidemi

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-19
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/13928

Conventionally, crop production in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) depends primarily on natural soil nutrients. Application of inorganic and organic fertilizers is an important way for maximizing agriculture in SSA that targets the full utilization of the agricultural lands for food to feed African population and to obtain surplus produces. However, it has been reported that several areas of agricultural soils fail to respond to application of fertilizers, but the specific reason remain unknown. This review paper aims at exploring techniques that can be used to amend non-responsive soils and evaluate methods of ameliorating such soils through the proper utilization of nutrients supplied from different organic and inorganic sources.