The effects of pre-aluminum treatment on morphology and physiology of potential acidic slope plants
Keywords:Acidic slopes, acidic-tolerant plants, aluminium treatment, soil rehabilitation, slope stability.
High temperature and rainfall contribute in turning most of the slope soils acidicin countries like Malaysia. Acidic slope again contributes in a low plant coverage,high eroding potential and instability of slopes. In this context, this study aims atinvestigating the effects of pre-Aluminum treatment on the growth and developmentof selected plants on acidic slope. The acidic-tolerant characteristics of Acaciamangium, Leucaena leucocephala and Melastoma malabathricum were determinedby subjecting them into pre-Aluminum treatment at germination phase. The resultsshowed that M. malabathricum exhibited the highest morphological parameters;root length and dry weight partitioning and physiological performance includingphotosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, transpiration rate, Leaf Area Index (LAI),and leaf Aluminum analyses. Within ten weeks of observation, the Al-pretreated M.malabathricum showed the highest photosynthetic and transpiration rates as comparedto L. leucocephala and A. mangium. Simultaneously, stomatal conductance wasfound to be the highest in M. malabathricum. Moreover, within ten weeks, soil pHplanted with M. malabathricum increased by 23.8% and was found to be the highestamong the species studied, implying the rehabilitation capacity of this species. TheAl-pretreated M. malabathricum also displayed the longest root length in acidic soilexhibiting a tolerance mechanism towards soil acidity. Amongst the species studied,M. malabathricum, either treated or non-treated, exhibited the best morphological andphysiological performances on acidic conditions.
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