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Acid Soil Is Associated with Reduced Yield, Root Growth and Nutrient Uptake in Black Pepper (Piper nigrum L.)

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DOI: 10.4236/as.2014.55047    5,604 Downloads   7,420 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Low pH is a major limiting factor for the production of black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) in Hainan province. Black pepper gardens often exhibit a decrease in soil pH (to 5.5 - 5.0) on orchards with a multi-year production history. An exploratory hydroponic experiment was conducted to examine the effects of increasingly acid nutrient solution pH (7.0, 5.5, 4.0, and 3.5) on seedling growth, tissue nutrient concentrations and root morphological traits. The results indicated that low pH may directly inhibit root development and function, limit K, Ca and Mg absorption and reduce seedling growth. At pH 5.5, black pepper attained maximum growth, while the minimum growth occurred at pH 3.5. It can be concluded that low pH reduces plant growth and is associated with low root nutrient concentrations of Ca and Mg, which may explain the decline of the yield in the seven pepper gardens of the Institute.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Zu, C. , Li, Z. , Yang, J. , Yu, H. , Sun, Y. , Tang, H. , Yost, R. and Wu, H. (2014) Acid Soil Is Associated with Reduced Yield, Root Growth and Nutrient Uptake in Black Pepper (Piper nigrum L.). Agricultural Sciences, 5, 466-473. doi: 10.4236/as.2014.55047.

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