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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 1999  |  Volume: 2  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 1164 - 1167

Alteration of Soil Temperature and Moisture Through Mulching on the Morpho-physiological Differentiation in Maize

M.A. Awal and M.A.H. Khan    

Abstract: Mulching effects of sawdust, ash, rice straw and water hyacinth on the morpho-physiological differentation of maize (Zea mays L.) and to relate these with soil environment were described. Water hyacinth and rice straw mulches had significant promotive effects on shoot elongation, root penetration, LAI and DM accumulation. All mulches conserved soil moisture but water hyacinth and rice straw retained comparatively greater amount. Water hyacinth and rice straw mulches reduced soil temperature fluctuations in all soil depths (5 to 15 cm) and retained higher soil temperatures at the early hours of the day (02 to 06 hrs) which were considered to be the decisive factor for the rapid development of maize plants. Sawdust mulch due to the lower soil temperature had retardive effects on all morpho-physiological attributes. Ash mulch ranked intermediate between the rice straw or water hyacinth and the control.

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