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Seasonal variation of Soil Biological properties in Castor (Ricinus communis L.) cultivated soils: A possible index towards soil fertility

Author Affiliations

  • 1Biotechnology Division, Central Silk Board, Central Muga Eri Research & Training Institute, Lahdoigarh-785700, Jorhat, Assam, INDIA
  • 2Biotechnology Division, Central Silk Board, Central Muga Eri Research & Training Institute, Lahdoigarh-785700, Jorhat, Assam, INDIA
  • 3Biotechnology Division, Central Silk Board, Central Muga Eri Research & Training Institute, Lahdoigarh-785700, Jorhat, Assam, INDIA

Res. J. Agriculture & Forestry Sci., Volume 1, Issue (9), Pages 1-7, October,8 (2013)


Castor (Ricinus communis L) is a primary host plant of Eri silkworm, a Lepidopteron insect which is responsible for producing sericin. The commercial production of Eri silk is mostly confined to the Northeast India and provide livelihood to poor farmers. The soils of Castor growing areas are highly rich in microbial diversity. Measuring soil respiration, soil dehydrogenase and phosphatase activity is an important aspect to estimate soil biological properties as it acts as a biological indicator towards soil fertility. Eight soil samples were collected from two plots of castor cultivated land of farm no. 1, Central Silk Board, Lahdoigarh, Jorhat, Assam. The average pH of the soil sample was slightly acidic (pH 6.5) and soil biological property of the sample was analyzed by CO evolution, soil dehydrogenase and acid phosphatase activity. The soil respiration activity was found more in the samples of plot no 8 than in plot no. 10 for different time intervals during the summer season. Whereas, the higher soil dehydrogenase and acid phosphatase activity was found in plot no. 10 than the samples of plot no.8. Moreover, samples of both the plots showed better biological activities in the summer in comparison to the other seasons with a positive correlation to environmental parameters indicating that soil biological activities vary with seasons throughout the year. The analysis was carried out as a benchmark survey for selection of experimental plots for application of biofertilizer input and subsequent formulation of an INM package for sustainable castor cultivation in ericulture.


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