University of Khartoum

Effect of Irrigation Interval on Physiological and Growth Parameters of Moringa oleifera and Moringa peregrina Seedlings

Effect of Irrigation Interval on Physiological and Growth Parameters of Moringa oleifera and Moringa peregrina Seedlings

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Title: Effect of Irrigation Interval on Physiological and Growth Parameters of Moringa oleifera and Moringa peregrina Seedlings
Author: Elhag Adam, Wafa
Abstract: This study investigated the effect of irrigation interval on growth and physiological parameters of M. oleifera and M. peregrina seedlings and the difference between the two species. The study was conducted in a nursery where the seedlings were raised using polythene bags filled with silt soil. The seedlings were irrigated every two days for two months, and then four irrigation intervals treatments were applied (every 2, 4, 6 and 8 days) for three months. Seedling shoot height and number of leaves were measured weekly from the start of the treatments. Three subsequent destructive harvests were conducted and root length, shoot dry weight and root dry weight were determined and total plant weight and root to shoot ratio were calculated. Leaf gas exchange parameters were measured for the four irrigation intervals, one day before irrigation and then measured one day after irrigation. The irrigation intervals had no significant effect on the shoot height of the two species. However, the number of leaves per plant was significantly reduced with increasing irrigation intervals. Root length showed fluctuating response pattern in both species for all intervals of irrigation at the three harvests. Root and shoot dry weights were reduced with increasing irrigation intervals for the two species. The irrigation intervals had significant effect on root/shoot ratio and total plant weight of M. oleifera seedlings. Root/shoot ratio and total plant weight displayed significantly lowest values in the seedlings that were viii irrigated every 8 days. Seedlings of M. peregrina showed the same result as those of M. oleifera in total plant weight. The irrigation intervals had significant effect on the gas exchange parameters of M. oleifera and M. peregrina seedlings. Increasing the irrigation interval caused progressive lowering of net photosynthesis, stomatal conductance and transpiration rate of the seedlings of the two species. The 8 days irrigated seedlings had the lowest values. In both species, net photosynthesis had rapidly recovered for the seedlings irrigated every 6 and 8 days after re-watering and became similar to that of those irrigated every 2 and 4 days. M. peregrina exhibited significantly greater root/shoot ratio than Moringa oleifera in all irrigation intervals. Also, M. peregrina maintained higher stomatal conductance and net photosynthesis per unit area than M. oleifera. The results point to the ability of M. peregrina to withstand drought conditions more than M. oleifera. Also, the results suggest that irrigation frequency in the nursery should not be later than 6 days for M. oleifera. Further studies are suggested to evaluate the physiology and growth response of Moringa peregrina under longer irrigation intervals.
URI: http://khartoumspace.uofk.edu/handle/123456789/9348
Date: 2015-04-23


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