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Formation of horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) biomass depending on soil properties in the locality of its growth.

Introduction

Horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) is a perennial herb with segmented, dual stems. Species grows on sandy and clay substrates with ground water close to the surface. We of ten find it as a hygrophilous weed of poorly cultivated fields, moist forest edges, in drainages, in innutritious, calcareous and moist locations, such as ditches, rail embankments and quarries. The plant is known for concentrating gold (0.5% of ash) on auriferous substrates.

This plant belongs to the oldest plants which have existed on our planet since the Carboniferous period. It is widespread in the whole world, especially in the temperate zone. On the contrary it practically does not exist in the tropical zone (Holm et al., 1997). Metabolism of horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) has relatively small need for micro and macro elements and the rather poorer soils suit it better (Andersson et al., 1999).

The objective of this paper was to study a dependence of dry horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) biomass formation on soil properties in natural localities of occurrence.

Material and Methods

The collection of plant material was conducted during the period of 2009-2011 in three different natural localities in Laborecka vrchovina. When selecting the localities we put emphasis on their regular dispersion in the area of the mountain range. The localities are situated in various altitudes and in various distances of the watercourses. They are differently orientated depending on solar radiation and on terrain inclination.

Localities where the examined species occur:

The selected localities are: L1 (196,4 m a. s. l., 49[degrees]03'44,47" N, 21[degrees]57'45,22" E), L2 (225,5 m a. s. l., 49[degrees]03'57,71" N, 21[degrees]58'00,89" E), L3 (205,5 m a. s. l., 49[degrees]03'43,20"N, 21[degrees]58'40,42"E). Village Jablon and its surroundings are situated in warm climate with over 50 summer days in a year (with the maximum air temperature of 25 [degrees]C and above). More precisely it is a moderately damp area. The basin moderate climate with the temperatures from -2.5[degrees]C to -5.0[degrees]C in January, 17.0 to 18.5[degrees]C in July and annual rainfall 600-800 mm prevails in the cadastre of the village Jablon.

Soil properties:

During the realization of the field research the soil samples were regularly collected to obtain current data about chemical properties of the soil from individual locations-the acceptable nutrient content (P, K, Mg) in mg.[kg.sup.-1] of the soil, soil reaction pH and humus content in %. The collection of the soil samples were conducted in every locality before the vegetation season. Agrochemical analyses were carried out continuously in the laboratories of the Central Controlling and Testing Institute in Agriculture branch in Kosice.

Population and biological properties:

To obtain population and biological data of the particular species the method of random sampling was used and it was conducted on transects passing through along the diagonal of the given locality. The width of transect was determined after the approximate findings of the size and density of the monitored plant species. On each transect we chose a permanent small surface in a 1 [m.sup.2] square shape situated approximately in the middle. Individual measurements were conducted on randomly selected specimens on square areas of 1 [m.sup.2] around the permanent area so we could use the destructive methods for biomass determination. We obtain the dry mass by thorough drying of the material in the dark room with subsequent drying in a well aired laboratory dryer to the constant weight.

During the collection we monitored the variables: weight of aboveground biomass on [m.sup.2] (aboveground biomass [g.[m.sup.-2]]), weight of the underground biomass on [m.sup.2] (underground biomass [g.[m.sup.2]]) and aboveground and underground biomass ratio (ratio [aboveground/underground]).

Methods of statistical processing:

Multivariate analysis of dispersion--MANOVA, which is an expansion of the analysis of dispersion ANOVA to two or more dependent variables was used for statistical evaluation. We observe a rate of linear t of these parameters from the soil properties (pH, content of organic carbon--content Cox [%], the content of humus in the soil [%] and from the content of acceptable nutrients in mg per one kilogram of soil--P, K, Mg). Soil parameters were tested using significance level of 0.05.

Results:

Within the territory of interest the two soil types are present according to VUPOP (agricultural land register LPIS). Cambisols typical ([KMm.sup.a]) is the soil type found in the central part of the cadastre and in L1 and L2 localities. It is found along the river Vyrava. Shallow humus horizon with a small content of humus in lower altitudes is typical for this soil type. Soil samples analyses from selected localities demonstrate that too. In higher altitudes of the mountain a content of acid humus is formed and creates suitable conditions for growth and spreading of horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) population.

Fluvent gley medium weight (FMG) is dominant on slopes and in locality L3. These soils are in their initial stage of development typical for poor formation of humus layer. The average content of humus for localities where horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) population occurs is 2.18%. A specific indicator for occurrence of examined species is pH. According to agrochemical analysis for years 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 we classify the collected soil samples as acid to extremely acid with the pH values ranging from 4.42 to 6.32.

Locality L3 is characterised by extremely acid soil reaction of 4.50 [+ or -] 0.07 pH and with reduced content of humus which is given by the stage of Flevent gley development and its position on the researched territory.

Locality L1 has the highest proportion of humus component on the average of 3.22 [+ or -] 0.25 % and poorly acid reaction of 6.12 [+ or -] 0.13 pH which has an influence on natural population of given plant.

Based on the values of partial coefficient of correlation we assessed dependence between the average weight of the total biomass and particular parameters of soil excluding the influence of other parameters. Table 2 shows the values of partial correlation coefficient together with the values of test statistic t and relevant p values.

From values in Table 2 is clear that using significance level 0.05 not one of the coefficients of partial correlation is statistically significant. The average weight of the total biomass has the strongest positive correlation with soil pH (R = 0.761, p = 0.135), that is with the increasing pH value the values of the total biomass increase too. Positive correlation also occurs in case of the content of humus in soil (R = 0.090, p = 0.886) and the content of potassium in soil (R = 0.133, p = 0.831). The strongest negative correlation has the average weight of the total biomass with the content of Mg in soil (R = -0.809, p = 0.097). Negatively correlates also with the content of organic carbon in soil (R = -0.105, p = 0.867).

The values in Table 3 indicate that the average weight of the underground biomass positively correlates with pH (R = 0.706, p = 0.182), with the content of humus in soil (R = 0.238. p = 0.700) and with the content of potassium in soil (R = 0.434, p = 0.465). Negative correlation is between the average weight of underground biomass and the content of magnesium in soil (R = -0.711, p = 0.178) and the content of organic carbon (R = 0.276, p = 0.654).

Negative correlation is between the average weight of underground biomass and the content of magnesium in soil (R = -0.711, p = 0.178) and the content of organic carbon (R = -0.276, p = 0.654).

The values in Table 4 indicate that the average weight of aboveground biomass positively correlate with pH (R = 0.743, p = 0.150) and negatively with the content of magnesium (R = -0.810, p = 0.097). Correlations with other parameters are practically zero.

Discussions:

What we have available here are average weights of underground, aboveground and total biomass in localities L1, L2 and L3 for the years 2009, 2010 and 2011. A characteristic indicator for the occurrence of examined species is pH.

Nutrients intake by the plants is influenced by many factors--internal (genetic factors), as well as external (soil, climate). According to Bergman and Neubert (1976) various mechanisms of nutrients translocations to root system exist: in case of potassium--diffusive (78%) and weight flow (20%) and on the other side in case of calcium and magnesium weight flow (72 and 87%).

Using regression line, Fig.1 graphically shows a dependence of aboveground, underground and total biomass on pH content in the soil. Horsetail (Equisetum arevense L.) is typical for its occurrence on acid soils.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

An experiment with perforate St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum I.) was conducted on industrially polluted soil in Bulgaria. Authors state that by means of chemical, physical and also biological base the soil has a complex influence on growth, development and formation of perforate St. John's wort biomass (Geneva et al. 2010). Santrucek (2007) claims that above all it is water and soil pH that influence growth process of plants. It is indisputable that for cultivating the majority of the main agricultural crops the reaction of the soil environment is a limiting factor of their production. At the same time it is known that the content of nitrogen and potassium available for plants accelerates their flowering and increases size and yield of flowers. Relationship between the temperature of the conditions in the localities and a production of biomass is again not definite for various groups of plants (Plackova et al., 2011).

Studying dependence of underground, aboveground and total biomass on pH we conclude that the weight of collected biomass is directly dependent on pH values on particular localities of examined species occurrence. The graph in the Figure shows that with increasing pH the formation and weight of biomass also increases too.

Using regression line, Fig.2 graphically shows a dependence of aboveground, underground and total biomass on content of organic carbon in the soil. By means of achieved measurements and a statistical evaluation it is clear that with increasing content of organic carbon in the soil the collected biomass did not increase.

Plants occupy biotopes within heterogeneous environment which has a positive influence on growth, reproduction and mortality. Fowler and Antonovics (1981) state, that the spatial heterogeneity even on relatively small scale can produce great demographic changes within development of the natural populations. Helal and Sauerbeck (2007) observed using of the organic carbon from the soil for creation of corn biomass. Adding of organic carbon had an influence on creation of both aboveground and underground biomass.

Our three-year study of horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) confirms that biotic and abiotic factors have the main influence. Amongst the basic factors that have an influence on creation of aboveground and underground biomass are climate, weather and content of the mineral substances in the soil. All was confirmed while observing these populations. During our observations we discovered that correlation between a plant size and environment's impact must be present in surviving specimens of horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.).

Using regression line Fig.3 graphically shows a dependence of aboveground, underground and total biomass on the content of humus in the soil. From the graph it is clear that the formation of biomass doesn't increase when the content of humus in the soil increases.

Plant species from semi-natural biotopes have a dynamic population growth, i.e., a high proportion of young specimens depending on quality of the environment (Bissels et al., 2004). Populations within sub-optimal conditions show regressive phases of population structures, i.e., a high proportion of adult plants and no or only small number of young specimens (Endels et al., 2002). Especially high competition for light has negative influence on growth and formation of biomass from semi-natural biotopes.

During our observations of horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) we found out statistically significant differences between the particular years. Spatial variations in localities had smaller significance. This fact is caused by an interaction between various populations and environment factors (soil, water, climate, weather and interspecific interactions).

[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]

[FIGURE 3 OMITTED]

Using regression line Fig.4 graphically shows a dependence of aboveground, underground and total biomass on the content of magnesium in the soil. From the graph it is clear that the formation of the total biomass does not increase when the content of magnesium in the soil increases. Berry et al., (2008) discovered during their study that the growth and life cycle in natural populations were similar. In their study they introduced an idea of independence between underground, aboveground biomass and dissolved mineral substances in the soil. They did not find out any statistically significant difference. Berry and Gorchov (2006) did not find out any direct dependence and demographic changes between the positions of localities and the substrate.

[FIGURE 4 OMITTED]

During the experiment with oat Tuma et al., (2004) did not find out significant influence of Mg on the creation of particular organs of a plant. The highest content of Mg was measured in leaves because leaf is a main place where photosynthesis occurs. Magnesium similarly to calcium accumulates in leaves, especially in vacuole and then it is added to metabolic reactions.

Based on our findings magnesium has a positive influence on the formation of aboveground biomass and a negative influence on formation of underground biomass. With respect to these findings we conclude that when examined plant is concerned the increase of a content of this element in the soil does not influence the formation of biomass in such scale for measured values to have any statistically proven character.

Using regression line Fig.5 graphically shows a dependence of aboveground, underground and total biomass on the content of potassium in soil. By means of achieved measurements and statistical evaluation it is clear that with increasing content of potassium in the soil both underground and aboveground collected biomass was increasing.

[FIGURE 5 OMITTED]

Plants take in potassium in an active and passive way, depending on its concentration in culture (nutrient) medium, that is in a low concentration with a help of active taking and in a high concentration with a help of plasmatic membrane (White 1993). During the whole time of performing its physiological role potassium is present in a form of cation K+. It means that potassium is not integrated into the organic matter (Marschner 1997).

Richter and Hlusek (2007) state, that there are very important relations between the vegetation and the soil. Not all soil properties have a direct and immediate effect on vegetation. Production ability of vegetation is influenced by the set of external agro-ecological factors, such as climate, soil and ground conditions.

Conclusion:

Soil and its properties are very important for the occurrence of different species and on the other side organisms, i.e. soil edafon are very important for quality of soil. Fertility of soil is closely connected with soil pH value which determines solubility of nutrients and therefore their availability for the plant. When the pH value is lower than 5.5 the solubility of nutrients increases and thus their possibility of elutriation from the soil. High pH values cause that the nutrients create insoluble compounds and their availability for plants considerably increases. Horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) requires acid soil in its natural locations of occurrence.

The measured values show that using significance level of 0.05 not one of the partial correlation coefficients is statistically significant for total biomass. The average weight of the total biomass has the strongest positive correlation with soil pH (R = 0.761, p = 0.135), that is the total biomass formation increases with the increasing pH value. The positive correlation in relation to the biomass formation occurs also in a case of humus content in the soil (R = 0.090, p = 0.886) and (R = 0.133, p = 0.831). The average weight of the total biomass of horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) with the Mg content in the soil (R = -0.809, p = 0.097) has the strongest negative correlation. It also negatively correlates with the content of organic carbon (R = -0.105, p = 0.867). Based on our findings we can state the following:

--Increasing of pH causes increased formation and weight of biomass, that is weight of collected biomass being directly dependent on pH values in particular localities of examined species occurrence,

--Increasing of organic carbon content in the soil does not influence formation of the biomass in such ratio for measured values to have statistically proven character,

--Obtained measurements and statistical evaluations show that with the increasing content of magnesium in soil both collected underground and aboveground biomass increased too

--Based on obtained measurements we can conclude that considering horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) the increased content of potassium had statistically the highest influence on formation of underground, aboveground and total biomass.

Acknowledgments

The work was supported by the Agency of Ministry of Education, science, research and sport of the Slovak Republic, the project: 00162 - 0001 (MS SR-3634/2010 - 11).

References

Andersson, T.N. and B. Lundegardh, 1999. Grovth of field horsetail (Equisetum arvense) under low light and low nitrogen condition. In: Weed Science, 47(1): 41-46.

Bergmann, W. and P. Neubert, 1976. Pflanzendiagnose und Pflanzen-Analysen. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena.

Berry, J., D.L. Gorchov, B.A. Endress and M.H. Henry, 2008. Stevens Source-sink dynamics within a plant population: the impact of substrate and herbivory on palm demography, In: Population biology, The Society of Population Ecology and Springer, 50: 63-77, DOI 10.1007/s10144-007-0067-z.

Berry, E.J. and D.L. Gorchov, 2006. Female fecundity is dependent on substrate, rather than male abundance, in the wind-pollinated, dioecious understory palm Chamaedorea radicalis. In: Biotropica., 39: 186-194.

Bissels, S., N. Holzel and A. Otte, 2004. Population structure of the threatened perennial Serratula tinctoria in relation to vegetation and management. In: Applied Vegetation Science, 7: 267-274.

Endels, P., H. Jacquemyn, R. Brys, M. Hermy and G. De Blust, 2002. Temporal changes (1986-1999) in populations of primrose (Primula vulgaris Huds.) in an agricultural landscape and implications for conservation. In: Biological Conservation, 105: 11-25.

Fowler, N.L. and J. Antonovics, 1981. Small-scale variability in the demography of transplants of two herbaceous species. In: Ecology, 62: 1450-1457.

Geneva, M., Markovska, Yu and I. Stancheva, 2010. Metal uptake by Saint John's wort (Hypericum perforatum l.) grown on industrially polluted soil, In: Proceeding Book from 6-th CAMAPSEEC 18-22 April, Antalya, Turkey, Published by: Damla Copy Center Matbaa Kurbagalidere Cad. No:37/1 Hasanpas,a Kadikoy/Istanbul, pp: 722-731. ISBN 978-605-61261-0-9.

Helal, H.M. and D. Sauerbeck, 2007. Effect of plant roots on carbon matabolism of soil microbial biomass. In: Journal of plant nutrition and soil science, 149(2): 181-188.

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(1) Pavol Labun, (2) Ivan Salamon, (1) Daniela Grulova

(1) Department of Ecology, Faculty of Humanities and Natural Sciences, Presov University in Presov, 01, 17th November St., SK-08116 Presov, Slovak Republic, email: pavollabun@yahoo.com, tel.: 00421 904 435 343

(2) Centre of Excellence for Animal and Human Ecology, Presov University in Presov, 01, 17th November St., SK08116 Presov, Slovak Republic

Corresponding Author: Pavol Labun, Department of Ecology, Faculty of Humanities and Natural Sciences, Presov University in Presov, 01, 17th November St., SK-08116 Presov, Slovak Republic. E-mail: pavollabun@yahoo.com, Tel.: 00421 904 435 343
Table 1: Soil properties of localities where horsetail (Equisetum
arvense L.) population occurs.

Locality           pH              content Cox           content of
                                       [%]             humus in soil
                                                            [%]

L1         6,12 [+ or -] 0,13   1,49 [+ or -] 0,19   3,22 [+ or -] 0,25
L2         5,57 [+ or -] 0,25   1,26 [+ or -] 0,13   2,79 [+ or -] 0,19
L3         4,50 [+ or -] 0,07   1,68 [+ or -] 0,15   2,18 [+ or -] 0,22

Locality       content of acceptable nutriens in mg
                      [1kg of soil] p.p.m.

                    P                      K
            [mg.[kg.sup.-1]]       [mg.[kg.sup.-1]]

L1         37,67 [+ or -] 2,12   393,58 [+ or -] 31,09
L2         84,33 [+ or -] 5,18   204,50 [+ or -] 24,91
L3         19,75 [+ or -] 0,43    97,38 [+ or -] 4,20

Locality   content of acceptable
              nutriens in mg
           [1kg of soil] p.p.m.

                    Mg
             [mg.[kg.sup.-1]]

L1         241,33 [+ or -] 8,95
L2         157,92 [+ or -] 10,64
L3         139,67 [+ or -] 10,26

Table 2: Coefficient of partial correlation R and R2 for the average
weight of total horsetail (Equisetum arvense L.) biomass.

                    R      [R.sup.2]     t(3)      p

pH                0,761      0,915      2,034    0,135
content Cox [%]   -0,105     0,996      -0,182   0,867
content of        0,090      0,996      0,156    0,886
humus in
soil [%]
K                 0,133      0,571      0,232    0,831
Mg                -0,809     0,863      -2,388   0,097

(R-value of partial coefficient of correlation, t-value of test
statistic, p-p value)

Table 3: Coefficients of partial correlation R and R2 for the average
weight of underground biomass.

                                   R          t(3)       p

pH                               0,706       1,729     0,182
content of cox [%]               -0,276      -0,496    0,654
content of humus in soil [%]     0,238       0,423     0,700
K                                0,434       0,835     0,465
Mg                               -0,711      -1,751    0,178

(R-value of partial coefficient of correlation, t-value of test
statistic, p-p value)

Table 4: Coefficients of partial correlation R and R2 for the average
weight of aboveground biomass.

                                 R      [R.sup.2]    t(3)      p
pH                             0,743      0,915     1,926    0,150
content of cox [%]             -0,009     0,996     -0,015   0,989
content of humus in soil [%]   0,008      0,996     0,014    0,989
K                              -0,042     0,571     -0,073   0,946
Mg                             -0,810     0,863     -2,389   0,097

(R-value of partial coefficient of correlation, t-value of test
statistic, p-p value)
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Title Annotation:Original Articles
Author:Labun, Pavol; Salamon, Ivan; Grulova, Daniela
Publication:American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:4EXSV
Date:Oct 1, 2012
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