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International Journal of Plant & Soil Science, ISSN: 2320-7035,Vol.: 12, Issue.: 3


Comparative Advantage of Mucuna and Tithonia Residue Mulches for Improving Tropical Soil Fertility and Tomato Productivity


Christopher Ngosong1*, Priscilla M. Mfombep2, Cyril A. Njume1 and Aaron S. Tening1

1Department of Agronomic and Applied Molecular Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, University of Buea, P.O.Box 63 Buea, South West Region, Cameroon.

2Department of Agriculture, Higher Technical Teachers' Training College Kumba, University of Buea, P.O.Box 249 Kumba, South West Region, Cameroon.

Article Information
(1) Marco Trevisan, Institute of Agricultural Chemistry and Environmental Research Centre BIOMASS, Faculty of Agriculture,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Italy.
(1) Fahmida Khan, National Institute of Technology, Raipur, India.
(2) Maria Jose Alves Bertalot and Eduardo Mendoza, Instituto Elo de Economia Associativa– Botucatu, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
(3) Mohan Krishna Balla, Tribhuvan University, Institute of Forestry, Pokhara, Nepal.
Complete Peer review History: http://www.sciencedomain.org/review-history/15714


Aims: To evaluate the suitability of Mucuna cochinchinensis and Tithonia diversifolia residue mulches for improving tropical soil fertility and tomato productivity, by determining the residue quality and their effect on specific soil properties and crop yield.

Methodology: Experimental plots were treated with inorganic and organic inputs (i.e. comprised a control with no input, mineral NPK fertilizer, residues of Mucuna and Tithonia, and mixture of Mucuna and Tithonia).

Results: Soil available P increased from 81.3 to 148.3 mg/kg across treatments, with the highest for mineral fertilizer that differed from the plant residues and control, followed by the plant residues that differed from control (Tukey’s HSD, P = .05). Soil exchangeable K increased from 1.3 to 1.9 cmol/kg across treatments, with the highest recorded for plant residues and mineral fertilizer compared to the control (Tukey’s HSD, P = .05), and correlated with treatments (r = 0.51, P = .05). Soil organic C increased from 2.3 to 2.7% across treatments, with the highest recorded for plant residues compared to mineral fertilizer and control (Tukey’s HSD, P = .05), and positively correlated with treatments (r = 0.75, P = .05). Soil pH increased from 4.7 to 5.8, with the highest for mineral fertilizer that differed from the control (Tukey’s HSD, P = .05), and correlated with the soil available P (r = 0.72, P = .05). Tomato yield increased from 9.5 to 13.5 t ha-1 with the highest recorded for sole Tithonia and Mucuna+Tithonia, followed by sole Mucuna and mineral fertilizer as compared to the control, and correlated with soil organic C (r = 0.71, P = .05) and exchangeable K (r = 0.67, P = .05).

Conclusion: Mucuna and Tithonia residue mulches are sustainable organic alternatives to improve tropical soil fertility, either singly or in combination, but Tithonia residue has a better impact on tomato productivity due to the higher content of exchangeable K.

Keywords :

Tropical soils; mulches; Mucuna and Tithonia; fertilizer; tomato.

Full Article - PDF    Page 1-13

DOI : 10.9734/IJPSS/2016/28093

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