Changes in soil fertility and Pak choi (Brassica chinensis L.) nutritional content in response to agouti (Dasyprocta leporina Linnaeus, 1758) manure amendment
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Evaluating agouti manure (AM) as a source of macronutrients for plant production is a precursor to ensuring appropriate land application. Agouti manure was compared to cattle manure (CM) and mineral fertiliser (MF) applied to three texturally contrasting soils. Their effect on Pak choi yield and nutrient content and uptake was investigated in a repeated factorial experiment, conducted in an open ventilated greenhouse. Soil pH, electrical conductivity (EC) and macronutrient content were measured at the end of the 2nd trial, whilst plant dry matter yield (DMY), tissue N, P and K content and uptake were analysed at the end of both trials. Electrical conductivity, total organic carbon (TOC) and extractable P (EP) and K (EK) were significantly greater for soils amended with AM compared to CM. Mineral fertiliser increased soil EC and nutrient content but decreased pH, TOC and TKN. Plant DMY was greatest for MF treatments in both trials. Dry matter yield decreased for control and CM treatments in trial 2, but increased for AM and MF. Nutrient source effects on tissue nutrient contents and uptake followed a similar response to DMY except for tissue P, which was affected by soil series. Across nutrient sources, plants grown in Piarco soil resulted in greatest tissue P content. DMY had the strongest relationship (r = 0.636) with plant tissue N. Recovery of total N (TNR) was >40% for MF and AM in trial 2. Agouti manure was shown to provide a consistent supply of nutrients to Pak choi, whilst improving soil fertility and quality.