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Journal Of Tropical Biosciences

Year: 2015|   Volume No: 10|   ISSN: 0795-3089|   Page No: 23


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Title:  RESPONSE OF CASTOR BEAN SEEDLINGS TO VARIATION IN DENSITY AND NITROGEN FERTILIZER

JAPHET*, W.S., IBRAHIM, A.S. AND DORO, H.T.

 

DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY ZARIA

ABSTRACT

Castor bean plant (Ricinus communis) is a species of the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. The species is getting increasing attention viv-a-viz its numerous economic and commercial benefits. Although the species can be found growing around homestead gardens, marginal fields and as a weed in farms and waste land, only few studies have attempted to investigate the response of this species to variation in resource availability. Yet this basic information on growth requirements is necessary for any project aiming at mass production of this plant. In this study, we experimentally imposed density and nutrient treatment to test the response of the species at the early vegetative stage. Variation in density and nutrient was achieved by growing the Castor bean at inter-planting distances of 5cm and 20cm to represent high and low density respectively, and NPK fertilizer application at the rate of 0g/ha and 13g/ha to represent low nutrient and high nutrient supply, respectively. The results obtained showed that the groups of plants sown at low density and at high nutrient supply, performed better (p0.05) than those sown at high density and at low nutrient supply. We concluded that, even though the species could tolerate marginal fields, it growth performance could be enhanced with appropriate planting

SUMMARY:

We concluded that, even though the species could tolerate marginal fields, it growth performance could be enhanced with appropriate planting densities and nutrient availability.

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