Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol.15, Issue 1, 2009; Page No.(181-187)

MINERAL COMPOSITION AND AUTECOLOGICAL STUDY OF PLANTAGO OVATA IN VARIOUS SOIL TEXTURAL ENVIRONMENTS OF FLUVENTIC USTOCHREPTS AND VERTIC USTOCHREPTS

O.P. Aishwath

Abstract

After the climatic factor soil physico-chemical properties play a vital role with respect to nutrient availability, water availability, soil aeration etc. for the regulation of plant life cycle. These abiotic factors directly influence the growth and development of a particular plant species. Therefore, it is essential to study the autecology of a plant in various soil environments before introducing in new areas for cultivation so as to achieve maximum productivity of crop with minimum input. Hence, mineral composition and autecological study of psyllium (Plantago ovata Forsk) was carried out in four soil textural habitats under Fluventic Ustochrepts (sandy, sandy loam and sandy clay loam) and Vertic Ustochrepts (clay loam). Results revealed that seedlings emerged out first in sandy clay loam soil (after 140.2 hrs. of sowing) and subsequently in sandy loam and clay loam and at last in sandy (after 225.2 hrs. of sowing). Plant height, effective spike per plant, length of spike, length of inflorescence, seed yield, straw yield, seed test weight, swelling factor, N, P, K, Ca, Mg and Na uptake by seed and straw and total removal of these elements from the soil was highest in sandy' clay loam and least in sandy soil except plant height. N, P. Ca and Mg content in seed and straw increased with increasing in clay content in soils. However, Na content was highest in plant raised on sandy soil. Plant starts wilting early in clay loam soil, though the total water content was more than the other soil textures. Flower initiation and plant maturity attained early in sandy soil. Harvest index and total number of spikes were more in heavy textured soil than the light textured one. The over all performance of Plan tago ovata was superior in sandy clay loam soil than the other textural environments. More Na content in plant with more exchangeable sodium per cent of soil indicated that Plantago ovata is a salt inclusion type halophyte and could be grown on slightly sodic soil. Sodic under ground water having residual sodium carbonate approximately 10 (me 1-1) could be used for irrigation without detrimental effect on the growth and yield of crop.

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