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Algae, soil fertility and physicochemical properties in agricultural fields of Balochistan, Pakistan

Qasima Agha, Mudassir Asrar, Saadullah Khan Leghari and Mohammad Abass Somalani

This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of algal growth on soil physicochemical properties in the fruit farms of Balochistan, Pakistan. The diversity of algal flora and its relation to physicochemical characteristics of soil from 10 different fruit crop fields of Balochistan, Pakistan were analyzed. The physicochemical properties of soil such as sand, clay, silt, organic matter, electrical conductivity, and hydrogen ion concentration, and total nitrogen, available phosphorous and available potassium were evaluated. The soils analysis was performed through standard methods and Atomic Absorption spectrophotometer. In this study 109 species of algae belonging to 54 genera were isolated and identified. Maximum number of species belonged to blue green, followed by diatoms and minimum number of green algae were recorded. The largest numbers of algal species were recorded from apple, grape and plum farms of Khanozai, Ziarat and Akhtarabad. The soils examined in the present study had high organic matter. The pH at all sites ranged from 5.87–8.60. Maximum pH was recorded from Panjpai (8.60), followed by Khanozai and more algal growth was recorded from these sites. Maximum Nitrogen (0.87%), Posphorus (260 ppm), Potassium (260 ppm) and organic matter (2%) was recorded from the soil of Khanozai with maximum number of (74) algal species. Organic matter was found to be positively correlated with Nitrogen. High Phosphorus and Potassium concentration in soils of all locations were found. All the soil characteristics were significantly correlated with the algal flora. Available potassium plays significant role in the overall production of algae and higher plants. The soils at all sites were loamy except from Sibi and Noshki where it was sandy loam. The loamy soils proved to be the best for algal growth as it retains organic matter, moisture, nutrients and promote microorganism’s growth. This study proved that good soil algal growth was found to be useful as it improves soil fertility by improving its texture, water holding capacity, organic matter and provides minerals after decay.

To Cite this article: Agha, Q., M. Asrar, S.K. Leghari and M.A. Somalani. 2020. Algae, soil fertility and physicochemical properties in agricultural fields of Balochistan, Pakistan. Pak. J. Bot., 52(4): DOI:

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