Nutrient dynamics in vegetative propagules of pineapple (Ananas comosus) cultivar as influenced by post N: P: K fertilizer application in Southern Nigeria
William Ubi, Godwin Michael Ubi, Ackley Ufot Akpan-Idiok, Thomas Okweche
Experiment was conducted in 2014 and 2015 with smooth cayenne pineapple suckers, in Calabar, Southern Nigeria. The experiment was laid out in a 25x25m Latin square with sampling area of 22m per block. Fifty healthy disease free plants were randomly selected for the study after treatment of N:P:K: 20:10:10 fertilizer in two split doses in 2014. The dry matters of the plant material (crown, trunk, whole plant and roots) were estimated and their nutrient contents were determined in the ages of 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 months after planting. The cumulative dry matter contents of roots, trunk and crown with a plotted summation curve showed that the curves were essentially sigmoidal, comparable to normal biological growth pattern. There were however, important differences in growth pattern between the components, assessed thus: trunk>crown>roots. The nutritional contents of the various components showed that nitrogen deteriorated with age of the plant, thus nitrogen values in the plant components were relatively variable. Potassium levels in the trunk tended to be relatively higher than values obtained from crown, particularly early in the season, under similar experimental condition. The inner trunk had appreciably higher potassium content than the outer trunk especially in young plants. The phosphorus values were lowest of all the major nutrients, in absolute terms being generally 10-20% of those of nitrogen. The trunk tended to have higher values of phosphorous than the crown. Phosphorus levels in roots and trunk tended to decrease with increase in age of the plant. The inner trunk had higher values of calcium than the outer trunk and these values tended to be higher than those of either crown or those of roots. The magnesium content was higher in the inner trunk than in the outer trunk, decreasing with increase plant age. These results are discussed in light of nutrient contents in vegetative tissues of pineapple, after N:P:K: treatment.