Low pH is a major
limiting factor for the production of black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) in Hainan province. Black pepper gardens often
exhibit a decrease in soil pH (to 5.5 - 5.0) on orchards with a multi-year
production history. An exploratory hydroponic experiment was conducted to
examine the effects of increasingly acid nutrient solution pH (7.0, 5.5, 4.0,
and 3.5) on seedling growth, tissue nutrient concentrations and root
morphological traits. The results indicated that low pH may directly inhibit
root development and function, limit K, Ca and Mg absorption and reduce seedling
growth. At pH 5.5, black pepper attained maximum growth, while the minimum
growth occurred at pH 3.5. It can be concluded that low pH reduces plant growth
and is associated with low root nutrient concentrations of Ca and Mg, which may
explain the decline of the yield in the seven pepper gardens of the Institute.
Cite this paper
Zu, C. , Li, Z. , Yang, J. , Yu, H. , Sun, Y. , Tang, H. , Yost, R. and Wu, H. (2014) Acid Soil Is Associated with Reduced Yield, Root Growth and Nutrient Uptake in Black Pepper (Piper nigrum
L.). Agricultural Sciences
, 466-473. doi: 10.4236/as.2014.55047
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