Variation in nodulation and growth of groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) on oxisols from land use systems of the humid forest zone in southern Cameroon
Improving biological nitrogen fixation through legume nodulating bacteria (LNB) inoculation requires knowledge on the abundance and effectiveness of indigenous population in the ferralsols. Nodulation of groundnut was examined under pots experiment in four location sites of the Humid-forest zone: Bertoua in the East; Ebolowa in the South; Bokito and Yaoundé in the Centre Regions of Cameroon and within each of the locations, in four land use systems (LUSs) of different levels of disturbance: mixed farming (1 to 3 years old); fallows (3 to 5 years old); cocoa plantation (> 20 years old); forest (> 30 years old). Results indicate that, soils under investigation are acidic with pH ranging from 3.68 in the Ebolowa forest to 6.92 in mixed farming at Bokito. Groundnut formed nodules in all the four LUSs. Soils from plantations and forests were poorly nodulated, whereas those from mixed farming and fallows were highly nodulated, with a positive and significant correlation (r 0.406; p < 0.0001) observed between nodulation and plant biomass in all the studied sites. These results suggest a high variation in groundnut nodulating bacteria density in soils from diverse LUSs of the humid forest zone of Cameroon; although, there was a site effect.
Key words: Acid soil, Arachis hypogaea, biomass, land use systems, multilocal, nodulation.