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Aims: To assess the potential impacts of poultry manure (PM) amendment on saline soil properties and its synergy with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on biomass yield and survival of C. maxima.
Study Design: The experiment was set up in complete block design of four (4) treatments with three (3) replicates.
Place and Duration of Study: Soil samples were obtained from the saline ecosystem of Iwuochang (Latitude 4.56°N and Longitude 7.57°E), Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. All analysis was carried out in Soil Science Laboratory and Botany Laboratory, Akwa Ibom State University, between January and March 2019.
Methodology: Soil samples were analyzed following the standard procedures outlined for wet acid digestions. Growth parameters were determined using standard methods. At leaf chlorophyll meter was employed in the assessment of the photosynthetic pigments of the experimental plant. Electrolyte leakage was assessed using the HANNA instrument conductivity meter. Leaf relative water content (LRWC), vigour index (VI) and plant salt-tolerant index (PSTI) was calculated using standard formulas.
Results: Physicochemical analysis of the saline and poultry manure augmented soils indicated significant (P =.05) difference between the two soil types in pH, available phosphorus, total nitrogen, clay, sand, Ex. Ca, Mg, K, Na, OC and EC. Reduction in shoot length, number of leaves and leaf area as well as Chl a, b, carotenoids and total photosynthetic pigments (from 39.7 to 21.30 mg/kg-1) of C. maxima were all significantly (P =.05) affected by soil salinity stress. PSTI was significantly reduced while EL increased in saline soil treatments. Inoculation with AMF alone or together with PM significantly (P =.05) increased the growth parameters, photosynthetic pigments and physiological parameters in C. maxima both in saline and non-saline soil treatments.
Conclusion: The results of this work have shown that AMF and PM synergy can enhance the ability of C. maxima to resist salt stress possibly through some morphological and physiological changes which improve vigour.
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