Center for Environment and Energy Research & Studies (CEERS)

Evaluation of Soil Physical Properties as Influenced by Various Green Manuring Legumes and Phosphorus Fertilization under Rain Fed Conditions

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A field experiment was conducted under rainfed environment of Pothowar region of Pakistan to assess physical properties of soil as influenced by various green manure legumes (sesbania, cluster bean and rice bean) and different P levels (0, 30, 60, 90 kg P2O5/ha). Highest fresh biomass was observed in sesbania (23 t/ha) followed by cluster bean (19 t/ha) and lowest in rice bean (17 t/ha). Maximum crude protein content was found in sesbania (17%) followed by rice bean (10%) and cluster bean (8%). Green manuring crops, on average reduced soil bulk density (5%), enhanced total porosity (8%), and macropores and large mesopores (28%). Maximum reduction (7%) in soil bulk density, and an increase (11%) in total soil porosity and available water (17%) was observed in plots where sesbania was incorporated as green manuring crop. The order of effectiveness in improving bulk density, macro and mesopores was sesbania cluster bean rice bean. Sesbania produced greater number of macro and large mesopores about 41% increase over control followed by cluster bean (29%) and rice bean (16%). Phosphorus application showed meager positive impact on various soil physical properties but did not significantly increased porosity or reduced bulk density. Significant differences in volume fraction in pore space suggest that pore space on a volume basis was much higher in sesbania-amended soil than in other treatments.

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