Effect of Integrated Plant Nutrient Management on Some Mineral Composition of Taro (Colocasia esculenta) and tannia (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) in Umudike
A three year experiment was carried out at the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Eastern Research Station, Umuahia in Abia State with the aim of comparing the percent concentrations of some mineral contents of plant fractions of tannia and taro species as well as their raw and cooked forms as influenced by integrated plant nutrient management. At the end of third year cropping season, one cocoyam plant was uprooted from fertilized (plot treated with 600 kg NPK + 10 t PM/ha) and unfertilized plots (control plot) and partitioned into leaf, stem and corm fractions. They were washed and divided into two parts. One part was cooked and the other was not. They were sliced into pieces and dried under direct sunlight for one week. The dried samples were ground in a mill, until a consistent powder was obtained and replicated thrice. The ground samples were analyzed for chemical composition using 3 x 2 factorial arrangements fitted in randomized complete block design in which plant part samples formed Factor A with 3 levels (leaf, petiole and corm), while integrated plant nutrition (IPN) formed Factor B comprising two levels (600 kg NPK fertilizer + 10 t poultry manure and 0 tha-1). F-LSD was applied to determine significant difference between two sample means at 0.05 % probability level after mean separation. The results showed that the integrated plant nutrient management was statistically the same with N contents of both raw/cooked species of cocoyam, but significantly (p≤0.05) increased the percent concentration of phosphorus in both raw and cooked tannia, but non-significant for that of taro. There were also significant increments in potassium and calcium contents in cooked and raw taro, respectively. Similar results were also observed in calcium content in both cooked tannia and taro, whereas percentage concentration of magnesium of raw tannia/taro was also improved by application of integrated nutrient management. It was also observed that taro contained higher percent concentrations of N, P, K and Mg than tannia in both raw and cooked states. Again, the highest percent concentrations of the minerals under study were found in the leaves of both cocoyam species relative to other plant fractions.
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