Open Access Original Research Article

Impact of Different Types of Land Use on Pattern of Herbaceous Plant Community in the Nigerian Northern Guinea Savanna

Toma Buba

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 151-165
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/16680

This study was carried out with the aim of finding the pattern of distribution and composition of herbaceous plant with respect to different types of land use in the Nigerian Northern Guinea Savannah. Data on plant species was collected using quadrat. Soil sample was collected using core and analyzed for physicochemical properties. The soil physicochemical properties include Total Nitrogen (%), Available Phosphorus (mg/ kg-1), Exchangeable Potassium (cmol (+)/ kg-1), PH, Organic Carbon (%) and Soil textural class. Different effects of land use, which include trampling, arable cultivation, grazing and mowing affected the floristic structure of plant community and soil physicochemical properties in different ways. Each land use type creates a uniquely different type of plant community. Greater impact on the plant community structure was by trampling and cultivation and lesser grazing and mowing. Species dominance based on the Important Value Index (IVI) was found to be the most important indicator of these land use types, and evenness was the least among these parameters that can be used as an indicator of these land use type. Different land use types create closely related some of the soil physicochemical properties, and yet are dominated by different plant species even in contiguous plots, suggesting that the impact of these land use types in shaping plant community structure lays more in their direct impact on the plants rather than indirectly by modifying their local environment. In comparison with Protected Land, grazing and mowing showed relatively no negative impact on the mean soil physicochemical parameters. However, the values of all the soil properties analyzed were largely negatively affected while comparing the Protected Land with the Cultivated and Trampled Lands. Grazing and mowing reduced Species Richness, but greater reduction was by trampling and cultivation. Species diversity was narrowly increased and decreased by grazing and mowing respectively, but largely decreased by trampling and cultivation. Species Evenness was relatively unaffected by trampling, arable cultivation and mowing, but increased by grazing. Such study in a unique geographical region will contribute for cross-biome comparison with similar studies, which is necessary toward generalizations of ecological knowledge for universally unified theories. Knowledge of the pattern of impact of different types of land management as environmental filters of plant species and determinant of plant community structure may be used for prediction, which is very essential for conservation and restoration programmes.

Open Access Original Research Article

In vitro Rumen Fermentation Characteristics of White Rot Fungi Biodegraded Cassava (Manihot esculenta) Peels

R. E. Barde, J. A. Ayoade, S. Attah, A. Wuanor

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 166-174
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/17263

Aim: This study was designed to evaluate the chemical composition, In vitro gas production, fermentation characteristics, methane produced and estimated metabolisable energy, organic matter digestibility and short chain fatty acids of untreated cassava peels and white rot fungi (Pleurotus osetreatus, Pleurotuseryngii, pleurotus tuber- regium and Lentinus edodes) biodegraded cassava peels as potential feedstuffs.

Study Design: Experimental design employed was complete randomized design.

Place and Duration of the Study: The study was conducted at the Farm Unit of the College of Agriculture, Lafia, Nigeria and Animal Science laboratoryof University of Benin, Nigreia. The duration of study was 21 days.

Methodology: Crude protein was determined as Kjeldahl nitrogen x 6.25. Ether extracts, crude fibre and ash were determined in triplicates. In vitro gas production using rumen fluid obtained from West African Dwarf goats and incubation was carried out. The gas production was measured at 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 and 24 h. After 24 hours of incubation, methane produced was estimated and determined in triplicates.

Results: The proximate composition of the biodegraded cassava peels samples indicated Pleurotus tuber-regium, as most efficient amongst the four white rot fungi in significantly improving the lignocellulosic cassava peels. Superior (P<0.05) proximate values were recorded for pleurotus tuber- regium biodegraded cassava peel (PT-CPS) compared to all other fungi biodegraded cassava peel samples. Untreateted cassava peel (UCPS) was improved by this fungus from crude protein of 3.33 to 9.83%; crude fibre content reduced from 18.61 to 10.66%; and better value of ash (from 4.00 to 5.84%).  Similarly, significant (P<0.05) values of IVGP (20.00ml/200mgDM), ME (5.21 MJ/kgDM), OMD (40.70%), SCFA (0.4179 µmol) and CH4 estimate of 10.33ml/200 mgDM were obtained for pleurotus tuber- regium biodegraded cassava peel (PT-CPS).

Conclusion: Results obtained in this study inferred that Pleurotus tuber-regium as the most efficient fungus in improving the nutritive value of cassava peels.

Open Access Original Research Article

A Survey of the Production Practices of Livingstone Potato (Plectranthus esculentus), an Indigenous and Underutilized Vegetable in Zimbabwe

Gaudencia Tichaidza Kujeke, Rose Tafadzwa Masekesa, David Icishahayo, Elizabeth Ngadze, Upenyu Mazarura

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 175-187
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/19612

Aims: The main objectives of the study were to establish the current production practices, constraints, and identity of the different landraces of Livingstone potato (Plectranthus esculentus) that are grown in Zimbabwe as well as the potential for improvement of the indigenous traditional vegetable in the small holder-farming sector.

Study Design: A questionnaire based survey was conducted.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in Makoni, Mutasa and Nyanga Districts (Manicaland Province) and Marondera District (Mashonaland East Province) of Zimbabwe, in April and December 2013.

Methodology: A total of 103 respondents from three Districts representing 25% of the population of growers were selected randomly and interviewed.

Results: Livingstone potato is a minor crop mainly grown for sale and food by women (97%). The 12 landraces still being cultivated were Ndurwe, Gombwe/a, Chibanda, Nziye, Sasamwi, Musande, Chizambezi, Nyabewu/Nyabuti, Nyatiya, Mutsaza, Chibhurandaya and Tutsenza. There are no improved varieties and growers retain seed (91.3%) from the previous crops. Production is mainly done on ridges in wetlands, (89.3%) as a sole crop (79.6%). However the current practices have not been evaluated. Production is on the decline and growers attributed this to poor rainfall (30.1%) and poor prices on the market (43.7%). There is evidence of loss of germplasm as indicated by the non-cultivation of some landrace. Results also showed that 97% of the respondents were interested in growing improved varieties from the local germplasm pool and from other countries.

Conclusion: Livingstone potato is a neglected crop as current production practices have not been evaluated to optimize yields. Research on this minor crop needs to be carried out and the landraces available need to be maintained and improved.

Open Access Original Research Article

Optimization of Seed Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Tuber Dormancy and Sprouting Capacity through Integrated Gibberellic Acid and Benzylaminopurine Application

P. D. Muchiri, G. K. Gathungu, R. O. Nyankanga, J. Ambuko, J. A. Landeo

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 188-198
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/20345

Lack of sprouted seed potato tubers at planting is a major drawbacks for potato production in Kenya as most potato varieties remain dormant longer than three weeks while the window of planting is two weeks. To develop strategies that can enhance earlier sprouting a study was done to determine the effects of application of gibberellic acid (GA) and benzylaminopurine (BA) either singly or in combination sequenced in a time dependent manner on potato tubers genotypes Asante, Dutch Robjn and Kenya Sifa dormancy breaking. The tubers were stored in diffuse light conditions at Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (formally Kenya Agricultural Research Institute), National Potato Research Centre Tigoni. The treatments included three potato varieties, Gibberellic acid (GA) applied at 0, 50, 100, 300 ppm and cytokinins (Benzylaminopurine) (BA) applied at 0, 50, 75, 100 ppm. The experiment was laid in a factorial arrangement. Tubers treated with GA alone or with a combination of GA and BA (GA+BA) showed faster dormancy termination and sprout growth than the control and those treated with BA alone. Tubers treated with GA or GA+BA had longer sprouts and number of sprouts per tuber than the control and BA treated tubers in all genotypes. Application of BA compared to GA alone decreased the number of sprouts by 1.46 and 0.89, 1.0 and 0.94, and 0.86 and 1.15 in Asante, Dutch robyjn and Kenya Sifa both in Trial I and II respectively. The highest sprout vigour score of 5.0 and 4.0, 4.33 and 3.67, and 3.67 and 3.33 and the greatest number of sprouts of 5.52 and 4.27, 4.07 and 3.74, and 2.13 and 2.43 was observed when BA was applied just before sprouts emergence at 9 weeks where 15 ppm gibberellic acid and then 15ppm BA after 9 days (GA.9BA) with Asante, Dutch robyjn and Kenya Sifa both in Trial I and II respectively. Both GA and BA may have been involved in initiating dormancy termination and sprout growth probably by synergistically enhancing both cell division and enlargement. Therefore GA or a combination of GA and BA can be adopted for potato dormancy termination and sprout growth. However, BA is more effective when applied toward the end of dormancy breakage.

Open Access Original Research Article

Preliminary Ecological Studies of Insect Species Associated with Different Accessions of Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) in Southern Ghana

Enoch Selorm Kofi Ofori, Nusrat Afful, Emmanuel Kwatei Quartey, Michael Osae, Harry Mensah Amoatey

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 199-210
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/20475

Aims: To determine the relative abundance and diversity of insects on twenty-two accessions of eggplants, as a guide to instituting control measures against unacceptable damage of egg plants grown under field conditions in the Coastal Savannah agro-ecological zone of Ghana.

Study Design: The experimental treatments were deployed in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD), replicated three times.

Place and Duration of Study: Nuclear Agriculture Research Center (NARC) farms and the laboratories of Radiation Entomology and Pest Management Center (REPMC) of Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI), between September 2012 and November 2012.

Methodology: The fields were divided into three replicates each containing twenty-two different accessions of eggplant S. macrocarponS. gilio GH8769, S. aethiopicumS. gilio GH8771,  Nroroye F, Ntorewa K, S. gilio GH8770, S. melongena GH 3949, Ntropo B, Ndroshye E, Ndroshye C, Ndroshye, Nroroye A, Black beauty, Nroroye G, Ntropo K, Ntropo I, Sammy, Ntropo G, Nroroye D, Ntropo H, Nroroye J. The seeds were sown in a nursery and transplanted 35 days after germination to an experimental plot measuring 40 m x 11.4 m in the centre of one acre area so that the experimental plot was surrounded by a homogeneously managed terrain. The experimental treatments were deployed in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD), replicated three times. Each replicate was allotted a plot size of 19.8 m x 8.4 m. Each sub-plot planted to one accession consisting of 22 plants at a spacing of 0.9 m x 0.6 m. Plots were separated by a distance of 2 m. Random sampling technique was used on weekly basis to study the relative abundance, diversity and behaviour of the insect species on the accessions.

Results: Fifteen different insect species were identified on the twenty two accessions of eggplant from the vegetative through to the maturity stage. These comprised three beneficial insects (C. lunata, Camponotus sp. and M. religiosa) and twelve pests (A. craccivora, B. tabaci, B. invadens, Dysdercus sp., G. compestris, L. orbonalis, P. maliPodagrica sp., O. virudulus, N. viridulus, Phenacoccus sp. and Z. variegatus). Their relative abundance ranged from 0.20– 8.78% for beneficial insects and 0.03 – 45.63% for pests. The highest abundance of insects were found on the accessions Ndroshye (14.09%) and Nroroye G (9.80%). Nroroye F registered the highest diversity of insect species, while Ntropo B and Sammy recorded the least diversity.  

Conclusion: There was high abundance of insect species (65.85%) on the field of study. High diversity of insect species was noted and this could be a guide in instituting control measure before pest numbers go beyond the economic thresh-hold level.