Open Access Original Research Article

Empirical Approach of Leaching Curves for Determining the Efficiency of Reclaiming Saline-Sodic Soils in Sahl El-Tina, Sinai, Egypt

Mohamed K. Abdel-Fattah, EL-Sayed A. EL-Naka

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/18606

Columns experiment was conducted to determine desalinization and desodification leaching curves of a clay saline-sodic soil. Soil samples were collected from Sahl El-Tina plain, Northern Sinai Governorate, Egypt. Soil columns were amended with agricultural normal gypsum "NG", phosphogypsum "PG" and calcium chloride "CaCl2.2H2O". Gypsum Requirements (GR) were calculated according to USDA equation. Calculated amount of gypsum was mixed with whole soil matrix (30-cm). Leaching was done using intermittent ponding method so as to add portions to the already saturated soil columns; and obtained leachates equal to the added portions. Desalinization and desodification curves showed that all treatments reduced soil salinity and sodicity, with a superiority of calcium chloride in reducing soil salinity and sodicity. In addition, the Hoffman’s approach was adopted to estimate the leaching constant (k) of amendments. Desalinization and desodification curves showed that application of calcium chloride appears to have a strong effect on (k) values. The leaching constants (k) of control, NG, PG and CaCl2.2H2O gave averaged values of 0.39, 0.27, 0.25 and 0.19 for desalinization and 0.35, 0.28, 0.27 and 0.16 for desodification, respectively. The lower values of (k) in CaCl2.2H2O treatment depicted lower amounts of water required for leaching and reclamation compared to other treatments. This study suggests that Leaching curves represent a very good method to determine the efficiency of amendments and the optimum depth of leaching water needed for successful reclamation.


Open Access Original Research Article

Survey on Soil Conservation Practices among Food Crop Farmers in Zing Local Government Area of Taraba State, Nigeria

Philip Hegarty James, Adam Lawan Ngala

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/19090

This study examined the awareness, preference and adoption of soil conservation practices among arable crop farmers in Zing Local Government Area of Taraba State. The study was a community based cross sectional study of a sample of 200 food crop farmers drawn from ten communities in Zing Local Government Area of Taraba State. A multistage purposive and random sampling technique was used in selecting the respondents used for the study. A total of 200 farmers were selected in ten out of the seventy-five major villages from the ten farming communities. Data generated were analysed using descriptive statistics, employing frequencies and percentages. Ranking technique was used to rank farmer’s preference of conservation practice. The result indicated that most of the farmers (80%) practiced conservation techniques. Ten per cent, 4% and 6% of the farmers were aware of the practice but never practiced it, not aware and had practiced but given up, respectively. The most preferred practices were mixed cropping which ranked first, mixed farming, crop rotation and manure/plant residue application. Others were use of cover crops, use of fertilizer and bush fallow. Reasons for the practice of soil conservation techniques included immediate monetary gain (100%) and to increase yield (96%). Other reasons included improving soil fertility (78%), preventing erosion (76%), reducing heat stress (66%), and ensuring long-term sustainability of land (58%) and advice of extension agent (40%). Forty-eight per cent indicated that they were just doing what other farmers were doing. Farmers were aware of soil conservation practices and many were currently engaged in some of the practices.

Open Access Original Research Article

Taxonomic Significance of Morphological Characters in the Species of Stachytarpheta Found in Awka, Nigeria

Chisom F. Iroka, Clement U. Okeke, Alex I. Izundu, Nkumah C. Okereke, Bio Louis Nyanayo, Kenneth U Ekwealor

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-6
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/19409

A morphological study on the genus of Stachytarpheta found in Awka, South Eastern region of Nigeria was carried out. This was done by physical observation and measurement of physiognomic features of fresh floral and vegetative parts of the plants. From the result of the analyses carried out, S. jamaicensis had an erect growth habit and stem branching was dichotomous, S. cayennensis was erect and low in growth habit, slightly woody at the base with dichotomous stem branching while S. angustifolia was weakly erect and stem branched dichotomously. Stem and petiole colour of S. jamaicensis and S. angustifolia was rarely similar while S. cayennensis had a purplish stem and petiole. Stem of the three species of Stachytarphetawere quadrangular (square shaped) towards the shoot but circular towards the base of the stem, Leaf was alternate or opposite and whorled in S. jamaicensis and S. angustifolia but opposite in S. cayennensis. Leaf colour was bluish or grayish in S. jamaicensis, greenish-gray in S. angustifolia and grayish-green flushed with purple in S. cayennensis. In addition, leaf shape, leaf base, leaf tip and leaf blade was also studied. Flowers were sessile in all three species of Stachytarpheta; they were semi immersed in the rachis depression in S. cayennensis. 3-5 flowers at a time in S. jamaicensis and S. angustifolia, 3-4 flowers in S. cayennensis. However, from the study carried out these morphological similarities are more between S. jamaicensis and S. angustifolia thereby delimiting S. cayennensis which had more isolated features.


Open Access Original Research Article

Salt Sensitivity in Camelina sativa Seedlings and Polyamine Content

Roberto Russo, Remo Reggiani

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/20270

The objective of the present investigation was to study the effect of different NaCl concentrations (0, 50, 75, 100, 125 and 150 mM) on seedlings of Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz. On these seedlings, we determined their appearance after 3 days of salt stress, soluble sugar and total amino acid contents and levels of polyamines. The Camelina seedlings suffered already at 75 mM of salt and presented more damages at higher concentrations. The content of sugars and amino acids increased up to 75 mM NaCl and then declined. The decrease was especially pronounced on soluble sugars at the highest concentrations. The Polyamine content increased at 50 mM and then decreased at higher concentration. The polyamine increase at 50 mM was mainly due to spermine. The presence of exogenous spermine (1 mM) during the stress ameliorated the tolerance of salinity, confirming previous studies about the protective role of spermine against salt stress.


Open Access Original Research Article

Eco-phytochemical Studies in Selected Food Crops Cultivated in a Small-scale Oil-refining Area of Ikot Oborenyin, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

V. G. Etim, E. A. Moses, E. J. Inam

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-14
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/19922

Aims: The study aimed at assessing the uptake of essential nutrients by tuber crops from soils at Ikot Oborenyin where small scale oil refining occurs.

Study Design: Experimental study was employed to achieve the aim of the study.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted at the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Soil Science, University of Uyo, Nigeria between October, 2012 and May, 2013.

Methodology: Soils and tuber crops were collected from crude oil refining and non-oil refining areas using composite sampling. Soil pH, electrical conductivity, organic matter (OM), cation exchange capacity, particle size distribution and exchange acidity were analysed using standard protocols. Levels of nitrates, nitrites, sulphates and phosphates were measured using UV-Visible spectrophotoscopy. Transfer factors and soil contamination indices were computed. Data analyses were done using Pearson’s correlation coefficient method.

Results: Results from the study revealed that the soils from the oil refining sites had some of their properties altered; they were loamy sand in texture, slightly acidic with high organic matter contents. The OM content was higher (P< 0.05) in oil refining sites. Trends for the concentration of anions in plants parts were: leaves ˃ stems ˃ tubers. The levels of anions from every parts of the plant analyzed showed that plants from the negative control site were higher in anions content (P<.05) compared to plants from the test site. In contrast, anions content were higher in the test site compared to the negative control site of the soil samples. Correlation analyses indicate different sources of input of anion to soils.

Conclusion: The study showed the inhibition of uptake of some important nutrients in the soil by plants as a result of crude oil presence. Transfer factor values show that the plant species are poor accumulators of sulphates, nitrites and nitrates but are efficient at bio-accumulating phosphate ions. The information generated in different crops cultivated under control and oil spill mining areas can be used for improvement of soil status and crop production. The data generated thus is useful for future action plan to grow suitable crops and soil correction factor Remediation programs are advocated for the communities.

Open Access Review Article

A Review of Different Types of Lysimeter Used in Solute Transport Studies

J. H. Abdulkareem, A. Abdulkadir, N. Abdu

International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, Page 1-14
DOI: 10.9734/IJPSS/2015/18098

A review of common types of lysimeter used in solute transport studies was carried out based on their features, working principle, advantages and disadvantages. The Lysimeters are majorly used for solute concentration measurement at the lower boundary (flux concentrations) in solute transport experiments, and in calculating mass balances for addressing scientific problems and pesticide registration. Lysimeters are commonly used in water flow and solute transport studies in soils. They are known to be of major importance in controlling and measuring water components, chemical concentration and fluxes in soil. Some of the different types of lysimeters reviewed in this paper include; pan or zero-tension lysimeters which are passive water samplers, which looks more like a pan, lacking side walls at the uppermost surface of the pan that can be used to collect draining leachates from the soil. Others are; Capillary wick lysimeter also known as wick sampler is a device used in solute transport studies that is used to sample leachates from soil by gravity through a stationary wick material such as fibre glass or rock wool. Suction cups are the commonest used procedure for collecting leachates from the soil. They are easy to install and gives a masterpiece of experience which makes the procedure unique. Suction plate also known as tension plate lysimeter has a similar working principle like that of porous cup. It is used for different extraction plates and also for the entire sampling system. Findings based on this review suggest that the lysimeters reviewed have both advantages and disadvantages. The choice of lysimeter depends on scientific question to be answered by a researcher and the availability of resources for the research. As some of the lysimeters can be constructed using readily available local materials while others involves a rather complex process.