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Performance of tropical pasture legumes grown in south western islands of japan xiv. the growth of tropical pasture plants as affected by soil ph



Performance of tropical pasture legumes grown in south western islands of japan xiv. the growth of tropical pasture plants as affected by soil ph



Grassland Science 32(1): 20-28



The shoot and root growth of tropical pasture plants (nine legumes and nine grasses) and the nodule formation of the legumes were assessed when plants were grown in Red-Yellow acid soil modified by additions of calcium carbonate. The optimal range of soil pH for the tropical grasses and legumes appeared as below. They varied significantly among the species tested and showed generally lower pH optima than those for the temperate counterparts. Grasses: buffel grass = Rhodes grass = molasses grass (pH 4.5-6.5) < para grass = Guinea grass = pangola grass (5.0-7.0) < setaria grass = star grass = dallis grass (5.5-7.0). Legumes: Endeavour stylo = Verano stylo (4.5-6.5) < centrosema = Siratro (4.8-7) > lotononis = silverleaf desmodium = greenleaf desmodium = Cooper neonotonia (5.0-7.0) < leucaena (6.2-7>), however, either lotononis or Siratro showed wider pH optima for their growth and acid tolerance being comparable to those of Endeavour and Verano stylos. Optimal pH ranges for the nodule formation by legumes were in higher values than those for the growth of host plants. The adaptation to the acid soils of the grasses seemed to be derived from the enhanced rates of soil nutrients up-take by the root systems whereas those of the legumes from the extension of the root systems. With the results above, discussions were directed to seeking an economical liming method in Red-Yellow soils in subtropical Japan.

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