Assessment of Soil Physico-Chemical Properties in Selected Natural Habitats of The Wild Rice (Oryza Longistaminata) and their Effects on the Species Morphological Characters
The aim of this study was to assess variation in some soil physical and chemical properties among four selected natural habitats of the wild rice species (Oryza longistaminata) in Tanzania, and their effects on the species morphological characters. Oryza longistaminata is a perennial wild rice species with agronomically important genes, including genes for tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses that can be used in rice breeding. In Tanzania O. longistaminata grows sympatrically with the cultivated rice (Oryza sativa) in most rice cultivating areas. The selected natural habitats assessed were located in four districts, namely Bagamoyo, Kibaha, Kilombero and Mbarali. Soil samples were collected at the depth of 0 - 20 cm from the four districts and analysed in the laboratory for soil physico-chemical properties using standard protocols. The species morphological characters were assessed based on the morphological descriptors for wild and cultivated rice species developed by Bioversity International and International Rice Research Institute. One way ANOVA was used to determine the extent of variation in soil physico-chemical properties (parameters) among the four natural habitats of O. longistaminata. Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA) was used to determine the effects of assessed soil parameters on the morphological characters of O. longistaminata in the study areas. The study revealed variation in soil physico-chemical properties among the districts. Statistically there were significant differences among the habitats (districts) for most of soil physico-chemical properties investigated. In addition, the assessed soil physico-chemical properties were found to influence variation in morphological characters among O. longistaminata populations from different habitats.