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Response of chickpea to different soil pH and texture

Howey, Emma Victoria (2020) Response of chickpea to different soil pH and texture. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

Soil pH and texture are important properties that affect chickpea growth and rhizobium nodulation. The current pH (CaCl2) and texture recommendations in Western Australia are a pH of 5.5 and above in fine textured soils such as clays or loams. This project was conducted to determine the impact of soil texture and pH on the growth rate of chickpea.

Three soil types (sandy loam, loamy sand and sandy clay loam) were utilised for a field trial based in South Burracoppin and a glasshouse experiment based at Murdoch University. The field trial was conducted with five cultivars per soil type. The soil types varied in surface and subsurface pH from 4.0 to 5.6. While, the glasshouse experiment was conducted with one cultivar and three soil types. The original soil was treated with CaCO3 to provide five pH (CaCl2) treatments per soil type.

The field trial utilised a variety of non-destructive measurements such as emergence counts, and for canopy cover three techniques were investigated (normalised difference vegetation index, fractional green canopy cover, leaf area index). Plant biomass (root, shoot, pods) and nodulation were investigated 44 and 129 days after sowing, at harvest grain yield was measured. The measurements taken during the glasshouse experiment include emergence, branching counts and canopy cover. The final harvest measurements included shoot and root weights as well as the nodule counts and weights.

The sandy clay loam soil type produced an above average crop despite being an unsuitable soil pH of 4.9, while both the sandy loam and loamy sand produced a below average crop due to a combination of unsuitable soil pH, soil texture and sub surface toxicities such as aluminium. In the glasshouse experiment, the treatments of pH showed no significant difference in plant biomass and root nodulation from the lower pH treatments.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Land Management Group
Supervisor(s): Bell, Richard and Vance, Wendy
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/59419
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