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Availability of Nitrogen, Microbial Respiration and Bulk Density as Influenced by Faecal Matter Fertiliser in Acrisol, Andosol and Planosol

Crop production in Kenya has declined over the years due to nutrient mining leading to food insecurity. This research aimed at using faecal matter fertiliser as a source of Nitrogen (N) and its effect on other desirable characteristics like bulk density, soil organic carbon(SOC)  in the soil. Also the ability of different types of soils to make N available for absorption by potato roots in response to application of the fertilisers was studied using Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) as test crop. A greenhouse pot experiment was set up at Nakuru Water And Sanitation Services Company domestic treatment site in Nakuru County. It was in completely randomized block design, factorial arrangement with two factors: five fertiliser types (vermi compost, sludge, normal compost, cow manure and urea) and three soil types (Acrisol, Planosol and Andosol). Potato tissues were analysed for total nitrogen while soil samples were analysed for available Nitrogen, CO2 emission (microbial respiration), organic carbon and bulk density. Results obtained showed considerable performance of feacal matter fertilizer where the levels of N were significantly different at α=0.05. The three soil types had levels of N, CO2, organic carbon significantly different. The significant levels of N in potato tissue and soil after application of fecal matter fertilisers makes these products important sources of plant nutrients and contributors to desired soil chemical, physical and biological characteristics.

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