Study on Biodiesel plants growth performance and tolerance to water stress under semi desert conditions
In this research, we studied the growth performance and tolerance of three biodiesel plants namely; Jatropha curcas, Moringa oleifera and Ricinus communis to water stress. Research conducted on the three different soils from Kaita, Jibiya and Mai’adua in the semi-desert environments of Katsina State, Nigeria. The findings revealed that pH, electrical conductivity, water holding capacity and moisture retention of the soils were less variable in the soils. Regarding the growth performance, J. Curcas has the highest number of germinating seeds from 45% to 65% without amendments and 80% to 85% soil under amendments. In M. oleifera was 35% to 40% and 65% to 80% while, R. communis has least counts ranging from 20% to 30% and 35% to 50% under two different conditions. Similarly, J. curcas has lesser time for seed germination in non-amended conditions, but under amendments, J. curcas and M. oleifera shown more or less similar time for seeds germination. In R. communis, was late but there was most significant decrease to about 41.53% after treatments. The growth rate from the growth parameters (length, number of leaves and biomass) indicated that M. oleifera has the highest rate reaching up to 42.19cm in length, 320 numbers of leaves and 38.03g biomass per plant. However, the growth rate in J. curcus was average by comparing the three species and found lowest in R. cummunis under both conditions. However, there was no significant increase in plants growth in amended soil as in jibia soil. The tolerance of plants to water stress varies with J. curcus having greater tolerance as it prolongs it’s temporary taking up to 19 days before attaining permanent wilting in jibia soil. However, M. oleifera has an average tolerance in comparison, between the three, but early temporary and permanent wilting period in 1 to 3 days exhibits by R. communis portrays its disability to tolerate water stress in the environments.
Key Words: Amendment, Biodiesel, Retention, Tolerance, Texture, Wilting