The Effect of Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) Compost on Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) Growth Attributes, Yield Potential and Heavy Metal Levels


The potential of different water hyacinth compost application rates in influencing growth attributes, yield and heavy metal accumulation of lead (Pb), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn) in tomato fruit was studied in Masvingo. Four treatments of water hyacinth compost rates of 0, 37, 55.6 and 74.1 t·ha-1 were each replicated three times and applied in a randomized complete block design set up. Results showed that water hyacinth compost application rates significantly affected plant height, days to maturity and yield but had no influence on the number of tomato fruits per plant. The plant height at application rate of 74.1 t·ha-1 was 25%, 56% and 63% higher than the control at week 6, 9 and 12, respectively. At application rates of 56.6 t·ha-1, plant heights were 11%, 13% and 12% higher than the control whilst marginal plant height differences of -4%, 6% and 4% were recorded between application rate of 34.7 t·ha-1 and the control at week 6, 9 and 12, respectively. Tomato plants under compost rates of 34.7, 56.6 and 74.1 t·ha-1 in comparison to the control delayed maturity by 10, 17 and 20 days, respectively. Yields of 52, 55, 60 and 68 t·ha-1 were realized from hyacinth compost rates of 0, 34.7, 56.6 and 74.1 t·ha-1, respectively. Heavy metal concentrations increased with increase in the water hyacinth compost rate but at all application rates, the average concentrations were 85%, 93% and 86% lower than the Codex Alimentarious Commission permissible levels for Pb, Cu and Zn. Water hyacinth compost at a rate of 74 t·ha-1 therefore can be used for increased tomato yield without exposing consumers to heavy metal toxicity.

Share and Cite:

Mashavira, M. , Chitata, T. , Mhindu, R. , Muzemu, S. , Kapenzi, A. and Manjeru, P. (2015) The Effect of Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) Compost on Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) Growth Attributes, Yield Potential and Heavy Metal Levels. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 6, 545-553. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2015.64059.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] FAOSTAT (2014) Datababse.
[2] Branthôme, F. (2010) Trends in Tomato Products Consumption Compared to Total Tomato Consumption, Study Prepared for WPTC and Commissioned by WPTC.
[3] FAOSTAT (2014) The Official Web Site of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
[4] Weisburger, J.H. (1999) Mechanisms of Action of Antioxidants as Exemplified in Vegetables, Tomatoes and Tea. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 37, 943-948.
[5] Willcox, J.K., Catignani, G.L. and Lazarus, S. (2003) Tomatoes and Cardiovascular Health. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 43, 1-18.
[6] Chivian, E. (2002) Biodiversity and Human Health in Life Support: Human Health and the Environment. In: McCally, M., Ed., MIT Press, Cambridge.
[7] Forslund, A. (2012) Escherichia coli Contamination and Health Aspects of Soil and Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Subsurface Drip Irrigated with On-Site Treated Domestic Wastewater. Water Research, 46, 5917-5934.
[8] Beecher, G.R. (1998) Nutrient Content of Tomatoes and Tomato Products. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, 218, 98-100.
[9] Wade, W.N., Vasdinnyei, R., Deak, T. and Beuchat, L.R. (2003) Proteolytic Yeasts Isolated from Raw, Ripe Tomatoes and Metabiotic Association of Geotrichum candidum with Salmonella. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 86, 101-111.
[10] Agarwal, S. and Rao, A.V. (2000) Tomato Lycopene and Its Role in Human Health and Chronic Diseases. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 163, 739-744.
[11] Malik, A. (2007) Environmental Challenge Vis a Vis Opportunity: The Case of Water Hyacinth. Environment International, 33, 122-138.
[12] Khan, S. and Sarwar, K.S. (2002) Effect of Water-Hyacinth Compost on Physical, Physico-Chemical Properties of Soil and on Rice Yield. Journal of Agronomy, 1, 64-65.
[13] Lata, N. and Veenapani, D. (2011) Response of Water Hyacinth Manure in Growth Attributes and Yield in Brassica juncea. Journal of Central European Agriculture, 12, 336-343.
[14] Gunnarsson, C.C. and Petersen, C.M. (2007) Water Hyacinths as a Resource in Agriculture and Energy Production: A Literature Review. Waste Management, 27, 117-129.
[15] Bharti, R.P., Abhilasha, S.V., Soni, N., Tiwari, A. and Shivbhanu, M. (2014) Phytoremediation of Heavy Metal Toxicity and Role of Soil in Rhizobacteria. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 4.
[16] Chopra, A.K., Pathak, C. and Prasad, G. (2009) Scenario of Heavy Metal Contamination in Agricultural Soil and Its Management. Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 1, 99-108.
[17] Vincent, V. and Thomas, R.G. (1960) An Agricultural Survey of Southern Rhodesia: Part 1: The Agro-Ecological Survey. Government Printer, Salisbury, 345.
[18] Nyamapfene, K. (2003) Soils of Zimbabwe. Nehanda Publishers, Harare.
[19] Al Jassir, M.S., Shaker, A. and Khaliq, M.A. (2005) Deposition of Heavy Metals on Green Leafy Vegetables Sold on Roadsides of Riyadh City, Saudi Arabia. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 75, 1020-1027.
[20] Goel, P.K., Khatavkar, S.D. and Kulkarini, A.Y. (1989) Chemical Composition and Concentration Factors of Water Hyacinth Growing in Shallow Polluted Pond. International Journal of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, 15, 141-144.
[21] Azam, F., Malik, K.A. and Sajjad, M.I. (1985) Transformations in Soil and Availability to Plants of 15N Applied as Inorganic Fertilizer and Legume Residues. Plant and Soil, 86, 3-13.
[22] Herrero, E.V., Mitchell, J.P., Lanini, W.T., Temple, S.R., Miyao, E.M., Morse, R.D. and Campiglia, E. (2001) Use of Cover Crop Mulches in a No-Till Furrow-Irrigated Processing Tomato Production System. HortTechnology, 11, 43-48.
[23] Bryan, H.H. and Lance, C.J. (1991) Compost Trial on Vegetables and Tropical Crops. BioCycle, 27, 36-37.
[24] Hartz, T.K., Miyao, E.M., Mullen, R.J. and Cahn, M.D. (2001) Potassium Fertilization Effects on Processing Tomato Yield and Fruit Quality. Acta Horticulturae, 542, 127-133.
[25] Hartz, T.K., Johnstone, P.R., Francis, D.M. and Miyao, E.M. (2005) Processing Tomato Yield and Fruit Quality Improved with Potassium Fertigation. HortScience, 40, 1862-1867.
[26] Rashid, G.H. and Iftekhar, U.A. (1992) Effect of Added Organic Matter on Some Physical and Physicochemical Properties of a Sandy Loam Soil. Proceeding of the Seminar on Research Findings in Some Biotechnological Aspects, 1, 45-48.
[27] Dann, P.R., Derrick, J.W., Dumaresq, D.C. and Ryan, M.H. (1996) The Response of Organic and Conventionally Grown Wheat to Superphosphate and Reactive Phosphate Rock. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 36, 71-78.
[28] Mohamed, A.E., Rashed, M.N. and Mofty, A. (2003) Assessment of Essential and Toxic Elements in Some Kinds of Vegetables. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 55, 251-260.
[29] Jung, M.C. and Thornton, I. (1996) Heavy Metal Contamination of Soils and Plants in the Vicinity of a Lead-Zinc Mine, Korea. Applied Geochemistry, 11, 53-59.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.