Effect of Nutrient Management on Growth Indices of Anise (Pimpinella anisum L.)

Document Type : Scientific - Research


Department of Agrotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.


World population increasing need for food have prompted the rapid development of chemical fertilizer technology and also consumed them as a source of nutrition for the food production. Recently, chemical fertilizer consumption in conventional agro-ecosystems imbalanced soil nutrient, declined quantitative and qualitative crop yields, and polluted water and soil. Chemical fertilizers provide crop nutrients need in the short time, and thus farmers had forgotten long-time soil fertility and its controlling processes by using these fertilizers. Hence, ecological and low input farming systems can be considered as a suitable replacement for traditional systems, and they can sustain production systems and maintain environmental health. In order to reduce the pollution caused by the use of chemical fertilizers and the restoration of agro ecosystems, along with the reduction of the dependence on non-renewable resources used in the production of fertilizers, the use of fertilizers that are derived from the environments known as an alternative. It seems that with good and proper management of biological and organic fertilizers, we can provide better nutritional conditions for the plant, stepping in the path of regeneration of agroecosystems and sustainable agricultural development. Therefore, in this experiment, the effect of biological, manure and chemical fertilizers on the growth characteristics of anise plant has been studied. It seems that the information obtained from such experiments can increase the economic efficiency of producers as a means to develop agricultural policies that are consistent with the environment.
Materials and Methods
In order to study the effects of single and combined applications of biofertilizers and organic fertilizers on growth indices of Anise, a field experiment was conducted with 15 treatments based on a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications at Research Station, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran, in 2011. Treatments were: (1) Mycorrhiza (Glomusin traradices), (2) Mycorrhiza + Cow manure, (3) Mycorrhiza+Vermicompost, (4) Mycorrhiza + Compost, (5) Mycorrhiza + Chemical fertilizer, (6) Biosulfur (Thiobacillus sp.), (7) Biosulfur + Chemical fertilizer, (8) Biosulfur + Cow manure, (9) Biosulfur + Vermicompost, (10) Biosulfur + Compost, (11) Cow manure, (12) Vermicompost, (13) Chemical fertilizer (NPK), (14) Compost and (15) Control. Plant thinning and weeding were carried out in two stages of four and six leaves of anise, and finally the plant density reached 66 plants per square meter. Due to the adverse effects of chemical pesticides on medicinal plants, weed operation was carried out manually by the worker on several occasions. During the growing season, in order to determine the grow trend and leaf area of the anise, the sampling was started from 25.05.2011 at intervals of 15 days until the end of the growing season. The leaf area was determined by the Leaf Measurement System Area (I-COR model) and then leaf area index and other growth indices were calculated. At the same time as the plants were matured and yellowed on first of July, after removing the marginal effect, the biomass of the whole Anise plant was harvested at an area equal to 5 square meters, and after drying in open air, seed yield and dry matter were determined. Data were analyzed, with SAS Ver. 9.1 and MINITAB Ver. 16 statistical softwares. Duncan multiple test was used to compare the means at a probability level of 5%. Figures also were drawed with Excel Ver. 11 M.S office.

Results and Discussion
The results indicated that the highest (2.4) and the lowest (1.35) leaf area index (LAI) were shown in combination of Mycorrhiza + Chemical fertilizer and compost treatments, respectively. The highest dry matter production (DM) (348.744 g.m-2) and crop growth rate (CGR) (14.42 g.m-2.day-1) were resulted from combination of biosulfur+vermicompost treatment. Compost and control treatments produced the lowest DM (200 g.m-2) and CGR (4.93 g.m-2.day-1), respectively.
In generally, the results revealed that the application of organic and biological fertilizers particularly mycorrhiza and biosulfur had a significant effect on improving the growth indices of anise. Furthermore, the combined application of organic and biological fertilizers had higher positive effects on growth index than their single application.


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