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Integrating organic matter into banana plantation in North Queensland: the effects on soil properties

Kukulies, T. and Pattison, A. and Forsyth, L. and Nelson, P. (2014) Integrating organic matter into banana plantation in North Queensland: the effects on soil properties. Acta Horticulturae (1018). pp. 441-447. ISSN 0567-7572978-94-62610-04-0

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Article Link(s): http://www.actahort.org/books/1018/1018_48.htm

Abstract

The major banana production areas in Australia are particularly sensitive to environments due to their close proximity to areas of World Heritage rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef catchment. Management of soil quality, nutrients and pesticides are vital to maintaining the integrity of these sensitive areas. Studies on cropping systems have suggested that integrating organic matter into ground cover management would improve the quality of soil under banana cultivation. In this study, an alternative management practice for bananas, which addresses the management of organic matter and fertiliser application, was assessed and compared to the conventional practice currently employed in the banana industry. Several chemical, physical and biological soil parameters were measured including: pH, electrical conductivity, water stable aggregates, bulk density, water filled pore space, porosity, water content, fluorescein diacetate hydrolyis (FDA) and beta-glucosidase activity. The alternative management practice did not have a significant impact of the production and growth of bananas but overall improved the quality of the soil. Although some differences were observed, the chemical and physical soil characteristics did not differ dramatically between the two management systems. The addition of organic matter resulted in the soil under alternative practice having higher FDA and beta-glucosidase levels, indicating higher microbial activity. The integration of organic matter into the management of bananas resulted in positive benefits on soil properties under bananas, however, methods of maintaining organic matter in the soil need to be further researched.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Additional Information:I International Symposium on Organic Matter Management and Compost Use in Horticulture, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
Subjects:Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Soils. Soil science
Deposited On:24 Jun 2014 04:56
Last Modified:24 Jun 2014 04:56

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