Open Access Original Research Article

Soil Fungal and Bacterial Populations in White Lupin (Lupinus albus) - Maize (Zea mays L) Cropping System Amended With Minjingu Phosphate Rock

Joyce J. Lelei, Richard N. Onwonga

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 1-17
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2014/11036

Aims: To determine fungal and bacterial populations under white lupin (Lupinus albus) - maize (Zea mays L) cropping system amended with Minjingu Phosphate Rock (MPR).
Study Design: A randomized complete block design with four replicates was used. Treatments were; (i) control i.e. fallow (F) – maize (M) rotation with triple super phosphate fertilizer (TSP) applied (MTSP - F), (ii) fallow - maize rotation with MPR applied (MMPR - F), (iii) white lupin (L) – maize rotation with MPR applied (MMPR - L) and (iv) maize/white lupin intercrop with MPR applied (M/LMPR - F).
Place and duration of study: The experiment was conducted in Njoro sub-County, Kenya during the long (LRS) and short rain seasons (SRS) of 2010 and 2011.
Methodology: Population of bacteria and fungi were determined at seedling, flowering and maturity stages of crop development by serial dilution plate method (Johnson and Curl, 1972).
Results: Significantly higher bacterial population was recorded in MTSP- F at maize seedling and 50% flowering in LRS of 2010 and 2011. At maturity, treatments M/LMPR – F in LRS of 2010 and M/LMPR – F and MMPR- L in LRS of 2011 had significantly higher population. In the SRS of both years, bacterial population was significantly higher in MTSP- F and M/LMPR – F at all sampling periods. In the LRS of 2010, fungal population was significantly higher in MTSP-F at maize seedling and in MTSP- F and M/LMPR – F at 50% flowering and maturity. In the LRS of 2011, fungal population was significantly higher in M/LMPR – F followed by MMPR- L at all maize growth stages. During the SRS of both years fungal population was significantly higher in MMPR- L across all sampling periods. Positive correlation between fungal and bacterial populations was found at termination of experiment.
Conclusion: White lupin-maize cropping system with application of MPR increased soil bacterial and fungal population, an indication of improved soil health and hence cropping system sustainability.

Open Access Original Research Article

Trace Metal Contamination of Selected Vegetables Grown Around Owerri Municipality, Nigeria

C. O. Nwoko, E. N. Emenyonu, C. E. Umejuru

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 18-29
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2014/11183

Trace metal contamination of vegetables grown around urban city of Owerri southeastern Nigeria was assessed. Vegetables: Fluted pumpkin – Telfairia occidentalis, Waterleaf – Talinum triangulare, Green – Amaranthus hybridus) were sampled along major locations of the metropolis based on the traffic intensity to achieve very high, high and low urban activities. Shoot of washed and unwashed samples were sub sampled and analyzed for Pb, Cd, Cr and Cu. Results showed that washing significantly reduced trace metal contamination of vegetables. Trace metal pollution index (TPI) was maximum for Douglas (1.72), followed by Aladinma (0.66), Orji (0.61) and Umunjam (0.57). The percentage reductions in trace metal concentrations due to washing were found highest for Pb, Cd, Cr in T. triangulare, A. hybridus and A. hybridus, respectively in Umunjam, Aladinma and Orji. There is need for continuous monitoring of trace metal contamination of vegetables grown in urban and suburban cities to reduce risk associated with trace metal contamination.


Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Ecological Factors on Seed Germination of Alien Weed Tridax procumbens (Asteraceae)

Ongkarn Vanijajiva

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 30-39
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2014/12692

Aims: To determine the effects of light, temperature, pH, salt stress, moisture content, depth of seed burial, and storage periods on its seed germination of Tridax procumbens seeds.
Study Design: The seeds of T. procumbens were collected in October - December 2012 from several paddy fields along Thailand. Seeds collected from many randomly selected plants were unsoiled and stored at room temperature until used in the experiments.
Place and Duration of Study: The experiment was conducted in Faculty of Science and Technology, Phranakhon Rajabhat University, between January 2013 and May 2014.
Methodology: To increase understanding of its rapid spread, the influences of light, temperature, pH, salt stress, moisture content, depth of seed burial, and storage periods on its seed germination have been evaluated.
Results: The seeds were obviously stimulated germination by light in T. procumbens, with highest germination rate at an alternating under the 12 h light/12 h dark regime, but a few seeds still germinated in the dark. The seeds germinated at a constant temperature in the range of 5–45ºC and reached a maximum at 25ºC. The seeds germinated over a wide pH range (4–10), with the highest germination rate at 7. The optimum soil moisture content for germination was around 5- 40%. The species was moderately tolerant of salt stress, with NaCl solution concentration > 0.15 mol L-1. The highest seedling emergence occurred for seeds placed from 0 to 2 cm deep, and no seedlings emerged from a 3-cm burial depth. The seeds of T. procumbens have no apparent dormancy and retain a high viability after room storage for 450 days.
Conclusion: This study has demonstrated that T. procumbens are adapted to a wide range of environmental conditions.


Open Access Original Research Article

An Electric Air Flow Olfactometer and the Olfactory Response of Rhynchophorous ferrugineus Weevil to Some Volatile Compounds

Aziza Sharaby, Mona Al-Dosary

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 40-50
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2014/11854

An electric air flow olfactometer was designed for testing the olfactory response of adult weevils (males and females). Thirty one natural plant volatile oils, eighteen terpenes and nine volatile chemical compounds were tested in the designed olfactometer for their stimulation on the adult weevil as attractants or repellents, data cleared some of the tested materials were attractants for both sex while others were repellents. They are arranged according to their intensity of reaction. The most attractive natural plant oil for both sexs and terpene were Juniper oil and terpene (-) Camphene, while Fenugreek oil was attracted to males and repellent for females. The repellent oils for both sex reached 15 of the tested oils. The attractive terpenes for females were (-) Camphene and Anethol. The attractive terpene for males was (-) Camphene. The other volatile chemicals (Alcohols, Aldyhydes and Ketones) were tested in 9 chemical compounds could be arranged in descending order, for females they were (Propionaldehyde>Furyl methyl Ketone), while Methylbenzaldehyde, Menthanal, Acetophenone, Benzaldehyde and Acetyl thiophene were repellents. All the nine chemical compounds were repellents for males. The attractive materials maybe used in bait traps in an IPM program, and repellent oils as a repellent by spraying on the wounded arias of palm trees.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Potential of Farm-Level Forestry Enterprises by Small Scale Farmers in Selected Arid and Semi-Arid Areas (ASALs) in Kenya

Darius O. Andika, Christopher O. Gor, Henry J. O. Ogola

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 51-65
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2014/12159

Aims: The objective of the study was to establish socio-economic status of selected farm forestry groups and networks currently undertaking farm forestry (FF) and the prospects of farm-level forestry enterprises in improving and sustaining the rural livelihoods in Mbeere and Tharaka, Sub-counties and Kitui County in Kenya.
Methodology: Using interviews with 466 randomly selected farmers, farm forestry groups (FFG) and farm forestry networks (FFN), assessment of the current farm-level FF-related assets and activities, FF enterprises [FFE], products and the constraints to adoption and sustainability of FFE by farmers was done.
Results: Majority of farmers had an average farm size between 2-20 acres headed by females who had influence on farm activities, making them important target group for FF development and sustainability. Low level of education in Tharaka and Mbeere implied that any interventional strategies involving high level of information analysis would be difficult to sell in these areas. Several viable FFE were identifiedin the study areas: tree nurseries, mango orchards, woodlot, and the main products honey, mango, seedlings, and timber and charcoal. Market value chain analysis identified disorganized market linkages, high transport cost, access to credit and low technical knowhow as the main constraints to the success of FF.
Conclusion: Future FF interventions need to incorporate local priorities to spur investments in FF for improved livelihoods and sustainable environmental conservation.