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Field Studies of Paspalum vaginatum S.W. from the Mangrove Swamp of Southwest Nigeria

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Author(s): Olusola O. Shonubi | O.T. Okusanya

Journal: International Journal of Botany
ISSN 1811-9700

Volume: 3;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 366;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Paspalum | mangrove | flooding | tropical | halophytic | salinity

ABSTRACT
Field studies of the above-ground productivity and mineral composition of the old and new shoots of Paspalum vaginatum S.W. in a mangrove swamp in Southwest Nigeria were carried out. Each month for three years, the shoots within five quadrats, each 1 m2 chosen at random, were cut at soil level, cleaned and dried (old shoots). In the following months, the newly grown shoots in the previously cut quadrats were harvested and treated as above (new shoots). The dried shoots were weighed and mineral nutrient analysis was carried out on sample shoots. Relevant environmental data was also collected. During the experimental period, both the old and new shoots showed cyclic high and low production levels, which correlated significantly with the rainfall (r = 0.6) and salinity in the area. Na+ and K+ values in new shoots were consistently higher than in old shoots, while the Ca++ values were the reverse. There were no differences in Mg++ values. The results showed intraspecific competition as the major factor affecting growth in the old shoot while flooding and salinity were the major factors affecting the growth in the new shoot. In view of the species productivity in the swamp, suggestion was made as to the best periods the species could be harvested as fodder.
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