The Effect Of mineral Nutrition on the Growth of Three Ethiopian Grass Species

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Addis Ababa University


The effe,',ts of n'Jtrient gru.dients on the growth and chemlc8.1 compositions of three grass specief1 (Arilll:ll.];LQ®ll /lby<Ul.iuiilll.§. R, Br, ex lfresen; lIyparrhenia pilgerana C. E. Hubbard and Pennisetum aQ]liIflPftll A. Rich) grown in pure and mixed stands were investigated to examine the response of the grass species to different concentrations of total nutrients and to detect any difference in the growth of the species in mixed relative to their growth in pure stand. The experiment was conducted under greenhouse conditions and the plants were supplied with u. series of concentrations of the Long Ashton Nutrient Solution. Plant height, tiller number, leaf area, leaf length and leaf ~lidth, total dry matter and nutrient concentrations in tt,e tissue increased with increasing nutrient supplies for both pure and, mixed stand experiments of all the three fJPeeies. Root /5hoot ratio, on the other hand, decreased as nutrient supplies increased. There was a significant differenee in plant height, tiller number, dry matter, and internal tissue concentration of plants grmm in pure and mixed stand. However, leaf area. leaf length, leaf width and root /shoot ratio did not show any Signifioant difference between the piante in pure are missed stands the most important effecteof the addition of mineral wltrients were increased density of the shoots. growth, and general improvements in the veget.::ttive vigor of the plar ts. The results of dry matter production and tiller number indicated that P. schinmeri to be a poor competitor in mixed st.ands