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Effects of soil type and fertilization level on plant construction and growth of Moringa oleifera

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https://www.eduzhai.net/ International Journal of A griculture and Forestry 2013, 3(6): 226-230 DOI: 10.5923/j.ijaf.20130306.04 Effects of Soil Type and Manure Level on the Establishment and Growth of Moringa oleifera Innocent Pahla1, Fanuel Tagwira2, Simbarashe Muzemu1, James Chitamba3,* 1Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Natural Resources M anagement and A griculture, M idlands State University, P. Bag 9055, Gweru, Zimbabwe 2Africa University, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, P. O. Box 1320, M utare, Zimbabwe 3Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Natural Resources M anagement and A griculture, M idlands State University, P. Bag 9055, Gweru, Zimbabwe Abstract Moringa oleifera is considered one of the most useful trees being pro moted across the world for its nutritional value. Ho wever, the production requirements of this crop are seldo m known. The study was conducted to investigate the effects of soil type and cattle manure on init ial establishment and growth of M. oleifera. Greenhouse experiments were conducted at Africa University, Zimbabwe in a 4×4 factorial treat ment structure laid in a randomized co mplete block design replicated 3 times. Sandy, sandy loam, clay loam and clay soils were used while cattle manure was applied to all the soils at levels of 0, 10, 20 and 40% on mass to mass basis. Results showed that, plant height, nu mber of branches, basal stemd iameter, root, shoot and total dry biomass significantly increased (p<0.05) with an increase in the amount of cattle manure applied. An increase of 173% in M. oleifera height was recorded where 40% manure was applied. Clay loam soils significantly increased (p<0.05) M. oleifera growth rate. The study showed that application of cattle manure in acidic gran itic sandy soils enhances the production of M. oleifera. A combination of clay loam and 40% manure was concluded as the best for M. oleifera establishment and growth. Keywords Moringa Ole ife ra, Soil Type, Cattle Manure, Growth, Establishment 1. Introduction Poverty in Africa has led to poor food production coupled with poor nutrition. Countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa are confronted with significant reduction in per capita cereal production and it is estimated that by 2020, cereal imports will rise to more than 30 million metric tons[1]. There is need to imp rove nutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa, includ ing Zimbabwe, through the use of cheap alternative food sources. Moringa oleifera leaves are h ighly nutritious; one serving of the plant contains 125% calciu m, 61% magnesium, 41% potassium, 71% iron, 272% Vitamin A and 22% Vitamin C daily value whilst the pods and seeds contain 5-10% crude protein and high quality oil that does not easily turn rancid[2]. M. oleifera has more beta carotene, protein, vitamin, calciu m, potassium and iron than carrots, peas, oranges, milk, bananas and spinach respectively[3]. The seeds of the plant were shown to have between 17-19% oil[4]. The nutrit ional value of M. olei fera has aroused the interests of countries and organization working among poor * Corresponding author: chitambajc@gmail.com (James Chitamba) Published online at https://www.eduzhai.net Copyright © 2013 Scientific & Academic Publishing. All Rights Reserved communit ies in Africa to introduce the tree. However, during establishment, M. oleifera seedlings have shown symptoms of stunted growth and yellowing of leaves, resulting in death or reduced growth. This has been attributed to low init ial soil nutrition and water logging in some cases[5]. There is therefore need to use locally available soil fertility amend ment resources such as cattle manure to imp rove its establishment and growth in resource constrained communal farmers of Zimbabwe. Cattle manure is a potential source of nutrients and also a potential benefit to soil amelioration especially for communal farmers who cannot afford fertilizers. However, getting the maximu m value out of the manure requires applying it at proper rates and frequency in conjunction to a particular soil. In Zimbabwe, there are no standard recorded recommended practices for M. oleifera production. Knowledge on optimu m manure requirements would significantly assist in scaling up M. oleifera production as an edible vegetable. Prev ious work main ly focused on M. oleifera nutritional values and its uses whilst research on establishment and growth has not received much attention despite the growing realization that M. oleifera production can be adversely affected by nutrient status of soil or media. Considering the nutritive value of M. oleifera as well as the availability of cattle manure in the country, the present study was carried out with the objective of determin ing the International Journal of A griculture and Forestry 2013, 3(6): 226-230 227 effect of soil type and level of cattle manure applicat ion on the initia l establishment and growth of M. oleifera. 2. Materials and Methods The experiment was conducted in a greenhouse at Africa University during the 2009/2010 cropping season. The university is located at an altitude of 1063 m above sea level and on 32°36′ E and 18°53′ S. The area falls in Natural Region 1 o f Zimbabwe's Agro-ecological Zones, receiv ing > 1000 mm rainfall per year and low mean temperature of < 15°C. The experiment was a 4×4 factorial t reat ment structure laid in a randomized co mplete block design with 3 replicat ions, giving a total of 48 experimental units. Four soil types (sandy, sandy loam, clay loam and clay ) and four well decomposed cattle manure levels (0%, 10%, 20%, 40%) were used. Organic matter content, soil pH, soil te xture, inherent N, P, K for the four soil types and nutrient quality for manure we re evaluated prior to seedling establishment. The results of the prior analysis of manure and soil are shown in Table 1 and Table 2 respectively. Using the Zimbabwe soil c lassification system, sandy soils were classified mainly as fersiallitic, 5G soils[6]. Black clays were classified as fersiallitic 3G soils whilst red sandy clay loamy was classified as orthoferallit ic 7E soils[7]. Sandy loam soils were classified as paraferallit ic 6G soils. were sourced fro m local farmers’ agroforestry fields in Mutare District. The pots were watered to field capacity and left for 4 days prior to seedlings transplanting. A meter rule was used along with a string to measure seedling height and stem diameter. Shoot, root and total dry matter were measured by placing the fresh plant materials in an oven for 72 hours at a temperature of 70°C. A dig ital scale was then used to weigh the root, shoot and total plant dry matter. Data on seedling height, stem d iameter, shoot dry mass, root dry matter and total plant dry matter were collected and assessed 12 weeks after crop emergency. Data was subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA ) using GenStat version 8.1 statistical package. Least significant difference (LSD) was used in mean separation at 5% significance level. 3. Results There was no interaction effect (p >0.05) between manure and soil type on root and shoot dry matter of M. oleifera. Soil type had no significant influence (p >0.05) on shoot and root dry matter whilst cattle manure level had significant influence (p<0.05) on accumu lation of shoot and root dry matter (Figure 1). An increase in manure application level proportionally had a positive shoot dry matter increment as evidenced by 10, 20 and 40% versus 76.6, 83.5 and 130.8% res p ectiv ely . Table 1. Nutrient content of cattle manure used Ca Mg K P N Zn Le vel (ppm ) 1.62 0.49 1.73 0.19 1.66 4.7 Well deco mposed cattle manure, fro m cattle feedlots with no visible straw was used in the e xpe riment. Inherent manure in the different soil types was used as the 0% manure treatment. Soil to manure mixing ratios of 0:1, 1:10, 1:5 and 2:5 in terms of mass as a proportion of 10 kg were made by thoroughly mixing soil and manure to give 0%, 10%, 20% and 40% manure treat ments respectively. The mixtures were used to fill 48 × 10 kg black polythene pots. Moringa seeds Figure 1. Effect of manure level on shoot & root dry matter of M. oleifera Table 2. Chemical and physical characteristics of soil used in the greenhouse experiment Site collected Text ure Nutrient level in the soil pH* Ca Mg K TEB P2O5 Total N OM (CaCl2) (me%) (me%) (me%) (me%) (ppm) (ppm) (%) Marange Sandy 4.2 0.13 0.07 0.08 0.28 11 AU/Hartzel Sandy loam 4.8 3.83 1.91 0.63 6.37 19 AU Red soil Clay loam 5.05 5.01 2.42 0.87 8.3 29 AU Black soil Clay 5.10 4.11 1.73 1.02 6.86 27 *pH was measured using the 0.01 mol CaCl2 method. 23 0.49 28 0.91 57 1.88 55 1.62 CEC (cmol kg-1) 5.66 11.18 22.44 22.60 228 Innocent Pahla et al.: Effects of Soil Type and M anure Level on the Establishment and Growth of M oringa oleifera There was no significant interaction effect (p>0.05) between manure and soil type on number of M. oleifera seedling branches. However there was a significant influence (p<0.05) on differences in number of branches produced after application of different levels of manure (Figure 2). A general increase in number of branches was recorded with an increase in amount of manure applied. After applicat ion of 10, 20 and 40% manure, number of branches increased by 33.8, 26.7 and 32.3% respectively in clay loam soils (Figure 2). Differences in number of branches were also observed between the different soils. Branch numbers of 20, 15, 13 and 17 were recorded in sandy, sandy loam, clay loam and clay soils respectively. Manure applied at 10% level gave 9.6, 56.5, 66.7 and 19% increase in number of branches in sandy, sandy loam, clay loam and clay soils respectively. type and manure that increased stem diameter (Figure 3). An increase in manure applicat ion resulted in an increase in plant stem diameter. Application of 0, 10, 20, and 40% manure resulted in stem diameter of 0.9, 1.5, 1.7 and 1.7 cm respectively. Application of 10% manure resulted in 19.6, 44.9, 18.4 and 46.5% increase in stem d iameter in sandy, sandy loam, clay loam and clay soils respectively. Application of 40% manure recorded 1.7, 1.5, 1.7 and 1.8 cm diameter in sandy, sandy loam, clay and clay loam soils res p ectiv ely . Figure 3. Effect of soil type and manure level on basal stem diameter of M. oleifera Figure 2. Effect of soil type and manure level on branch number of M. oleifera Soil type and manure level significantly influenced (p<0.05) total plant dry matter accu mulat ion (Tab le 3). There was no significant interaction (p>0.05) between the two factors on total plant dry matter accumu lation. Application of 10, 20 and 40 % manure resulted in 56.9, 70.1 and 119.3% increase in total dry matter accu mulation respectively for all soils. As the clay content of soils increased in the various soil types, total plant dry matter a lso increased. Total dry matter of 45, 56.3, 58.1 and 72.3 g were recorded in sandy, sandy loam, clay loam and clay soil respectively. Interaction of soil type and manure level significantly influenced (p<0.05) height of M. oleifera seedlings. Seedling height increased with an increase in a mount of manure added. However, in clay soils, 10, 20 and 40% manure application rate had no significant effect (p>0.005) on plant heights (Figure 4). Addition o f 40% manure increased plant heights by 236, 130.6, 119.6 and 30.8% in sandy, sandy loam, clay loam and clay soils respectively. Table 3. Effect of soil type and manure level on total plant dry matter of M. oleifera Soil Type Sand Sandy loam Clay loam Clay Grand mean Fprob l.s.d CV% Total plant dry matter (g) 103.2a 95.0ab 89.2b 86.9b 93.6 0.026 11.11 14.2 Manure Le vel (%) 0 10 20 40 Grand mean Fprob l.s.d CV% Total plant dry matte r (g) 57.9a 90.9b 98.5b 127.0c 93.6 <0.001 11.11 14.2 Means followed by same letters are not significantly different at p<0.05 Figure 4. Interaction effect of soil type and manure level on plant height of M. oleifera 4. Discussion There was a significant interaction (p<0.05) between soil There was a positive dry biomass yield response to International Journal of A griculture and Forestry 2013, 3(6): 226-230 229 manure application in the current study. The yield response to manure can be attributed to the soil ame liorative effects of manure. Th is is consistent with Palm et al.[8] who reported that there is a potential to increase crop yields, while maintaining soil organic matter, through use of organic manure The high b io mass recorded with application of manure is probably due to imp roved nutrient availability because the manure used had 1.66% N, 0.19% P and 1.73% K. Manure imp roves cation exchange capacity (CEC) and its application can also result in higher water holding capacity (WHC) especially in sandy soils[9]. An increase in soils organic matter o f 0.5% was shown to increase water and nutrient holding capacity by about 10%. Murwira and Mugwira[10] concluded that application of manure pro mote sustainability of soil fertility through the recycling of nutrients and imp rovement of soil structure. Manure contains beneficial microbes that can promote more effective root growth, aid in moisture retention in the crop root zone hence the seedling roots develop rapidly. Organic carbon also increases with application of manure. Murwira[9] highlighted that application of manure increased organic carbon by 38% in the top 0-10cm layer with first year application. Murwira[9] also reported that application of manure increased soil water retention in sandy soils. Exchangeable K, Ca and Mg have also been reported to increase progressively with manure applications thus increasing plant available bases[11]. Manure has been shown to have a positive effect on availability of n itrogen, phosphate and other nutrients in nutrient fixing soils[11,12]. Due to their content of electron-donor functional groups, humic substances can form co mplexes with Mn and Al3+, detoxify ing soils from high concentrations of Al. Tisdale et al.[13] noted that organic matter reduces the effects of toxicity by Al and Fe, increasing root growth and availability of plant nutrients like P and N which are essential nutrients for plant growth, hence increasing yields that concurred with the current study where biomass yield increased with increase in amount of manure added. Shoot and root dry matter increased with an increase in amount of manure applied. Application of 40% manure resulted in 212.2%, 52% and 102% increase in root dry matter of M. oleifera compared to control in sandy, sandy loam and clay loam soils. The bio mass response to manure application in sandy soils may be due to the fact that the inherent organic matter of the soil was low as compared to other soils. Artin and Rice[14] showed that on very poor and alkaline Hait ian soil, fert ilization with organic matter increased growth of M. oleifera. Yamoah[15] showed that an increase in rooting depth increased the ability to resist mo isture stress, leading to increased growth and biomass of Leucaena tree seedlings in both acid and non-acid soils. This study also revealed different responses of M. oleifera in different soils. Root mass of 14, 18, 23 and 26.9 g were recorded in sandy, sandy loam, clay loam and clay soils. Low yields in sandy soils compared to clay soils can be attributed to low soil nutrients and low p H (4.2) which might have hindered nutrient availab ility. Alu minum to xicity increases exponentially at lo w pH (4.2) resulting in roots toxicity that reduce plant growth and yields[13]. Alu minu m also affects root development, resulting in short stunted roots and this is more prevalent in soils with low p H. Chikowo[16] reported that deleterious effects of soil acidity on crops are main ly impairment of root develop ment and growth which is later man ifested as poor plant growth. Manure application (40%) in sandy soils recorded 212.2% increase in plant height. Increases in dry matter observed could be due to increased pH and improved nutrient availability status of the soil brought about by addition of manure. Although manure analysis results showed low N and P content, the increases in p lant dry matter could be due to high amounts of bases recorded in the manure. Grant[11] observed that the benefit wh ich accrues fro m fertilizing with manure was due to more amounts of bases released than to the supply of N. It was also noted that crop responses to manure on sandy soils are o ften due to the contribution of P and the cations such as calciu m and magnesium, than the addition of N[11]. N is lost during composting process of manure[17]. The best response of manure in sandy soils can also be due to higher mineralizat ion rate in sandy soils compared to other soils. Murwira and Mugwira[10] showed that rate of mineralization depends on the soil texture and rate of N mineralization was shown to be lo wer in clay soils than sandy soils because clay particles shield organic matter fro m deco mposition. Higher mineralization means higher nutrients availability for plant growth. Annual N mineralizat ion of Zimbabwean soils have been found to be about 5% for sandy soils and about 2-3% fo r clay soils[18]. The interaction effect of manure leve l and soil type on the growth of M. oleifera imp lies that the plant does very well under higher rates of manure and high clay content. M. oleifera growth is negatively affected when manure level is reduced in sandy soils. 5. Conclusions There was a strong linear relat ionship between establishment and growth of M. oleifera and manure application rates. It was concluded that soil type and manure application rates had effects on M. oleifera establishment and growth in terms of nu mber of b ranches, root and shoot dry matter as well as the total dry matter. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors would like to acknowledge the management and staff of Africa Un iversity and the Midlands State University for provision of expertise and necessary materials / resources for the experiment to be successfully carried out. 230 Innocent Pahla et al.: Effects of Soil Type and M anure Level on the Establishment and Growth of M oringa oleifera REFERENCES [1] Bationo A; Bekunda M A, Kimani AB, M ugendi, DN, M urwira HK, Nandwa SM , and Obanyi VS (eds.). 2003. Soil Fertility M anagement in Africa: A Regional Perspective. Academy Science Publishers (ASP); Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT); Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility (TSBF), Nairobi, KE. pp. 306. [2] Fugile LJ. 1999. M oringa oleifera-the M iracle Tree. Natural Nutrition for Tropics. Church World Service, Dakar; 68; revised in 2001 and published as the M iracle Tree: The M ultiple Attributes of M oringa. pp. 172. [3] Palada M C and Chang LC. 2003. Suggested cultural practices for M oringa. AVRDC International Cooperators` Guide. ht tp ://www.avrdc.org/LC/ indi genous/ morin ga.p df.[Accessed: 30 M ay 2013]. [4] Ahmad M B, Rauf A and Osmad S.M . 1989. Physio-chemical analysis of seven seed oils. Journal of the Oil Technologists` Association of India. 21(3): 46-47. [5] Francis K. and Liogier HA. 1991. Naturalized exotic tree species in Puerto Rico. USDA Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station, Institute of Tropical Forestry. New Orleans, LA. pp. 12. [6] Brinn PJ. 1987. Communal Land Resource Inventory. Mutare District. Chemistry and Soil Research Institute Soil Report No. A546 with Moderate Arable Potential. pp16. [7] Nyamapfene KW. 1991. The Soils of Zimbabwe, Nehanda Publishers, Harare, Zimbabwe. pp. 176. [8] Palm AC, Gachengo CNR, Delve RJ, Cadisch G, and Giller KE. 2001. Organic input for soil fertility management in tropical agroecosystems: Application of organic resource database. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 83: 27-42. [9] M urwira HK. 1998. Ammonia losses from Zimbabwean cattle manure before and after incorporation into soil. Tropical Agriculture, 72: 269-273. [10] M urwira HK and M ugwira LM . 1997. Use of cattle manure to improve soil fertility in Zimbabwe. Department of Research and Specialist Services, Chemistry and Soil Research Institute, Zimbabwe. [11] Grant PM., 1970. Lime a Factor in maize production Part 1: The efficiency of liming. Rhodesia Agricultural Journal, 67:73-80. [12] M urwira HK and M awoneke S. 1997. Release of phosphorus during decomposition of cattle manure, maize and groundnut residues in a Zimbabwean sandy soil. African Crop Science Conference Proceedings, 3(1): 515-525. [13] Tisdale SL, Nelson WL, Beaton JD and Havlin JL. 1993. Soil fertility and fertilizers. 5th Edition. M acmillan Publishing Company, NY. pp. 634. [14] Artin M and Rice LP. 2002. The M oringa Tree. Year Technical Echo Notes. Echo Staff. 13 (38): 1–19. [15] Yamoah CF. 2001. Stimulation of top and root growth of leucaena with farm manure in the mid-altitude agro-ecological zone of north-west Cameroon. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), PMB 5230, Ibadan, Niger ia. [16] Chikowo RG. 1998. Soil fertility management for improved groundnut (Arachis hypogaea. L), production in the smallholder sector in Zimbabwe. M .Phil Thesis. University of Zimbabwe, Harare. pp. 83. [17] M urwira HK. and Kirchmann H. 1993. Nitrogen dynamics and maize growth in a Zimbabwean sandy soil under manure fertilization. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 24: 2343-2359. [18] Saunder DH, and Grant PM . 1962. Rate of mineralization of organic matter in cultivated Rhodesian soils. Trans-communi cation IV and V. Int. Soil Sci. Soc. 235-39.

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