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Effect of Different Container Sizes and Irrigation Frequency on the Morphological and Physiological Characteristics of Mango (Mangifera indica) Rootstock Seedlings

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Author(s): George Ouma

Journal: International Journal of Botany
ISSN 1811-9700

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 260;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Rootstock | seedlings | morphological | physiological | CO2 assimilation

ABSTRACT
Studies were conducted from July 2003 to March 2005 at Maseno University, Kenya to investigate the effect of three container sizes: V1 (1.7 L), V2 (2.7 L), V3 (3.9 L), V4 (4.7 L) and three irrigation frequency levels namely W1 (irrigating everyday), W2 (irrigating every 2 days), W3 (irrigating every 3 days) in a polythene -covered greenhouse, on the morphological and physiological parameters of mango (Mangifera indica) rootstock seedlings. The experimental set-up was completely randomized design. The morphological parameters determined were number of leaves, plant height, stem diameter, shoot and root dry weights, whole plant dry weight and root to shoot ratio while the physiological ones were CO2 assimilation rate substomatal CO2 concentration, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance and soil respiration. The results showed that container size significantly (p≤0.05) increased plant height, canopy height, shoot and root dry weight, whole plant dry weight and root to shoot ratio, number of leaves. Irrigation frequency significantly (p≤0.05) increased, number of leaves, plant height, root and shoot dry weight, root to shoot ratio, whole plant dry weight but did not affect canopy height and stem diameter. The interaction between container size was not significant for canopy height and whole plant dry weight but increased all the other parameters above Container size and irrigation frequency did not affect substomatal CO2 concentration but significantly (p≤0.05) increased CO2 assimilation rate during the early months of growth and also increased soil respiration. The interaction between container size and irrigation frequency was significant for CO2 assimilation rate, transpiration rate, soil respiration and stomatal conductance. It is concluded that container size and irrigation frequency affect plant growth through their effect on the morphological and physiological parameters of mango rootstock seedlings.
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