The effect of Lantana camara on soil chemical properties and germination of maize seeds in Mawu Village, Makulubita Subcounty, Luweero District
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This study was conducted to evaluate allelopathic effect of Lantana camara leaf powder on germination and growth behavior of maize and to evaluate the effect of lantana on soil chemical properties. The experimental design was randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three treatments and one control. T0 having no lantana powder was considered control, T1 25g, T2 50g and T3 75g of the powder which were mixed with soil before planting the seeds in the holes. Germination percentage, root length and shoot length were recorded from four replicates and lantana camara powder had an impact on these growth parameters which showed allelopathy of lantana camara on maize seeds. Highest germination percentage 75.3 was recorded where 25gof Lantana camara powder was applied where it had a stimulatory effect while the lowest 62.5 was observed when 75g of the powder was applied where it had an inhibitory effect so the germination percentage decreases with increase in concentration of Lantana camara powder. In conclusion, lantana camara leaf powder did not significantly influence seed germination, speed of germination, and shoot except root length of maize. Though the difference was not significant for germination, an effect was observed with the high concentration 75g having a negative effect on the parameters listed above. On the soil chemical properties, soils underneath lantana camara were sampled and areas without Lantana .The results showed that Lantana camara had no significant effect on the soil chemical properties but generally the nutrient content in areas underneath lantana camara was high compared to areas without Lantana camara. The pH in areas of different sites was different but almost the same in the same site so there was not much of difference in areas with Lantana camara and areas without Lantana so this implies that it does not modify the soil pH but rather occupies areas with favorable pH and in this research some sites were slightly acidic and some slightly alkaline so more research is needed to find out the kind of soil pH on which it grows. Keeping the lantana camara plants around agricultural field may affect growth parameters of maize so further studies on characterization of phytochemicals and their specific role in different agricultural crops is important.