Identification of Nutrient Contents in Six Potential Green Biomasses for Developing Liquid Organic Fertilizer in Closed Agricultural Production System

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Abstract
The use of solid organic fertilizer in closed agricultural production system must be combined with foliar application to improve fertilizing effectiveness. Nutrient contents in tissues of green biomass determine the quality of liquid organic fertilizer. Six potential green biomasses, Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A. Gray, Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Kunth ex Walp., Leucaena leucocephala (Lamk.) de Wit, Ageratum conyzoides L., Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms, and banana corms were identified its nutrient contents. Samples were dried at 60 o C for 48 hours, grinded, analyzed for N, P, K, Ca-ex, Mg-ex, C, cellulose and lignin contents. Results indicated that T. diversifolia and A. conyzoides had the highest N content compared to other biomasses. A. conyzoides had the highest P content, followed by T. diversifolia. A. conyzoides had the highest K content, followed by G. sepium. The highest Ca-ex content was in L. leucocephala, followed by A. conyzoides. The highest Mg-ex content was found in A. conyzoides, followed by L. leucocephala. The highest C content was found in E.crassipes, followed by G. Sepium. T. diversifolia had the highest cellulose content, followed by E.crassipes. Lignin content of all biomasses was similar. Lastly, E.crassipes had the highest C/N compared to other biomass, and both T. diversifolia and A. conyzoides had the lowest C/N. It is concluded that A. conyzoides is the most promising green biomass for production of liquid organic fertilizer, followed by T. diversifolia and G. sepium.
Vol.
7
(201
7
) No.
2
ISSN: 2088
-
Identification of Nutrient Contents in Six Potential Green Biomasses
for Developing Liquid Organic Fertilizer in Closed Agricultural
Production System
Fahrurrozi#1, Yenny Sariasih*, Zainal Muktamar$, Nanik Setyowati#2, Mohammad Chozin#3,
Sigit Sudjatmiko#4
#Agronomy Department, Universitas Bengkulu, Bengkulu 38121, Indonesia
E-mail: 1fahrurrozi@unib.ac.id, 2setyowati280260@unib.ac.id, 3mchozin@unib.ac.id, 4sigitsudjatmiko@unib.ac.id
*Crop Protecion Department, Universitas Bengkulu, Bengkulu 38121, Indonesia
E-mail: yennysariasih@unib.ac.id
$Soil Science Department, Universitas Bengkulu, Bengkulu 38121, Indonesia
E-mail: muktamar@unib.ac.id
Abstract The use of solid organic fertilizer in closed agricultural production system must be combined with foliar
application to improve fertilizing effectiveness. Nutrient contents in tissues of green biomass determine the quality of
liquid organic fertilizer. Six potential green biomasses, Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A. Gray, Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.)
Kunth ex Walp., Leucaena leucocephala (Lamk.) de Wit, Ageratum conyzoides L., Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms,
and banana corms were identified its nutrient contents. Samples were dried at 60oC for 48 hours, grinded, analyzed for
N, P, K, Ca-ex, Mg-ex, C, cellulose and lignin contents. Results indicated that T. diversifolia and A. conyzoides had the
highest N content compared to other biomasses. A. conyzoides had the highest P content, followed by T. diversifolia. A.
conyzoides had the highest K content, followed by G. sepium. The highest Ca-ex content was in L. leucocephala, followed
by A. conyzoides. The highest Mg-ex content was found in A. conyzoides, followed by L. leucocephala. The highest C
content was found in E.crassipes, followed by G. Sepium. T. diversifolia had the highest cellulose content, followed by
E.crassipes. Lignin content of all biomasses was similar. Lastly, E.crassipes had the highest C/N compared to other
biomass, and both T. diversifolia and A. conyzoides had the lowest C/N. It is concluded that A. conyzoides is the most
promising green biomass for production of liquid organic fertilizer, followed by T. diversifolia and G. sepium.
Keywords liquid organic fertilizer; T. diversifolia; G. sepium; L. leucocephala; A. conyzoides; E. crassipes; banana corms
I. INTRODUCTION
Vegetable production in a closed agricultural production
system is considered as organic vegetable production, a
system approach where the production was intentionally
designed to promote biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil
biological activity [1]. The use of solid organic fertilizer has
been widely practiced for nutrient supply in organic
vegetable production. However, solid organic fertilizer takes
a longer time to mineralize than crop life-cycles [2], [3].
This slow-release characteristic endorses the use of liquid
organic fertilizer to fulfill nutrient required for organic crop
production which might be effectively applied through
leaves [4].
The use of liquid organic fertilizers has been widely
practiced for organic vegetable production. Although some
publications reported that effects of liquid organic fertilizer
had been successfully improved growth and yield of many
vegetables, such as in lettuce [5], green cabbage [6],
cauliflower [7], kaelan [8], potato [9], tomato [10] and
sweet-corn [11], the use of tithonia-enriched liquid organic
fertilizer in organic vegetable production have been found to
be less effective in promoting growth and yield of carrot [12]
and sweet corn [13], [14]. Green biomass is one of the main
components to determine the effectiveness of liquid organic
fertilizer for vegetable production. Since the effectiveness
of crop responses to liquid organic fertilizer is also
determined by green biomass used to compose the liquid
organic fertilizer [15], type of green biomass must be highly
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considered in the production of liquid organic fertilizer. The
composition of raw materials affects the quality and stability
of compost prepared [16]. Research by [17], [18], [19], [20]
for example, used Tithonia diversifolia (Hamsley) A. Gray),
known as wild Mexican flower, as a source of green biomass
for liquid organic fertilizer used in organic vegetable
production.
According to [15], organic vegetable production must be
intentionally designed to promote biodiversity, biological
cycles, and soil biological activities. The use local materials,
therefore, is an essential part of organic vegetable production
practices since there are specific spatial and temporal
interactions between crops and soil during the course of crop
development. The decomposition rates of the leaves were
significantly correlated with the initial N and Ca
concentrations in the leaves as well as with the initial C:N,
C:P and lignin:N ratios [21]. It is therefore very important
to successfully benefit from crops grown in closed
agriculture system that use liquid organic fertilizer by
carefully selecting potential green biomass available around
growing area selected as a source of nutrient for liquid
organic fertilizer.
This experiment aimed to determine the nutrient contents
of six green biomasses that will be potentially used for the
production of liquid organic fertilizer.
II. MATERIALS AND METHODS
This experiment was conducted from April to July 2016,
Six potential green biomasses (1) Tithonia diversifolia
(Hemsl.) A. Gray, (2) Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Kunth ex
Walp., (3) Leucaena leucocephala (Lamk.) de Wit, (4)
Ageratum conyzoides L., (5) Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.)
Solms, and (6) banana corms were collected from the
Closed Agriculture Production System (CAPS) Research
Station located in Air Duku Village, Rejang Lebong,
Bengkulu Province, Indonesia, at elevation of approximately
1.015 m above sea level (3°, 27’, 30.38” South Latitude and
102°, 36’, 51.33’’ East Longitude).
Samples of 100 gram fresh weight of each green biomass
were dried at 60 oC for 48 hours to determine the dry weight
content. All dried samples were milled, and then
representative samples were stored in tightly corked and
labelled bottles for further analysis. The proximate analysis
of green biomass nutrients [N-total (%), P-Bray (%), K
(mg/100 mg), Ca-ex (Me/100 g), Mg-ex (Me/100 g), C (%),
cellulose (%), lignin (%) and C/N] was conducted using
methods proposed by [22]. Each analysis of leaf nutrient was
replicated three times.
All data collected from laboratory analysis were subjected
to analysis of variance according to the procedure for
complete randomized designs. Means of nutrient contents
from individual biomass were compared using Least
Significantly Different Test 5%.
III. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
A. Dry Matter Content
Laboratory analysis indicated that L. leucocephala (Lamk)
had the highest dry matter content (18.3%), followed by G.
sepium (Jacq.) Kunth ex Walp. (16.8%), A. conyzoides L
(13.3%), T. diversifolia (Hemsl.) A. Gray (12.2%), banana
corms (7.1%) and E. crassipes (Mart.) Solms (5.2%). Plant
dry matter refers to material remaining after removal of
water, and the moisture content reflects the amount of water
present in the plant tissues. This portion mainly consists of
soluble carbohydrates, such as fructose, sucrose and glucose,
and very sensitive to nutrient supplies. With respect to the
production of liquid organic fertilizer, dry matter of
particular green biomass might determine the effectiveness
in formulating the materials used to produce liquid organic
fertilizers. Higher dry matter content reduces the total weight
of green biomass that should be incorporated in the
production of liquid organic fertilizer.
B. N-total
Nitrogen is very important for plant growth and
development, including promoting vegetative growth (leaf
and stems), hastening recovery after mowing, production of
chlorophyll and other regulating effects in the formation and
function of enzymes and protein. According to [23] N is
involved in all of the plant’s metabolic processes, its rate of
uptake and partition being largely determined by supply and
demand during the various stages of plant growth and
development.
Results from this experiment indicated that both green
biomass of T. diversifolia and A. conyzoides had the highest
N content, followed by L. leucocephala, G. sepium, E.
crassipes and banana corms (Fig. 1). Each biomass
contained N-total of 6.55%, 6.55%, 5.69%, 5.04%, 4.17%,
and 1.91%, respectively. These figures might be higher than
what had been reported elsewhere. Research conducted by
[18] reported that green leaf biomass of tithonia content was
3.5% N. Other report [20] revealed that N content of T.
diversifolia was 2.04%. Meanwhile, nutrient composition of
L. leucocephala was reported as much as 0.34% N [24].
Surprisingly, T. diversifolia and A. conyzoides had higher N
content than of L. leucocephala, legume shrubs that have
high N fixation capability.
Fig. 1 N-total content of six potential green biomasses. (Means of N-total
content followed by the same letter are not significantly different
according to Least Significant Difference 5%)
From N point of view, T. diversifolia and A. conyzoides
are recommended to serve as sources of N for developing
liquid organic fertilizer.
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C. Phosporous Content
This nutrient stimulates early root formation and growth,
strenthens plant aperformance, stimulate flowering, hastens
maturity and plays improtant roles in many cell functions. It
is very important that liquid organic fertilizer has high P
content to improve crop growth and development. Results
from this experiment indicated that A. conyzoides was found
to have the highest content (1.71 %), followed by T.
diversifolia (0.87%), G. sepium (0.33%), L. leucocephala
(0.32%), E. Crassipes (0.32%) and banana corms (0.23%)
(Fig. 2). High P content in G. sepium was comparable to
what had been reported by [25] that contained 0.30 % P. In
addition, P content in T. diversifolia was higher than that
been reported [18] in Western Kenya where tithonia content
was 0.37% P but lower than what had been reported in
Ogbomoso, Nigeria, [20] where P in Tithonia diversifolia
was 1.76%. Meanwhile, nutrient composition of L.
leucocephala was higher than that of reported by [24] where
L. leucocephala had 0.19% P. This findings suggested that
A. conyzoides are recommended to serve as a source of P for
developing liquid organic fertilizer.
Fig. 2 P-Bray content of six potential green biomasses (Means of P-Bray
content followed by the same letter are not significantly different
according to Least Significant Difference 5%)
D. Potassium Content
The highest tissue K content was found in A. conyzoides
(8.59 mg/100 mg), followed by G. sepium (6.21 mg/100
mg), L. leucocephala (5,98 mg/100 mg) and E. crassipes, T.
diversifolia, and banana corms with the amount of K as
much as 4.07, 3.94 and 3.80 mg/100 g, respectively (Fig. 3).
Although there have been limited reports on K content in A.
Conyzoides, this finding revealed that this weed is very
promising to serve as a source of K in formulating liquid
organic fertilizer. In addition, the magnitude of K in G.
sepium was almost doubling than that of reported by [25]
where leaves of G. sepium contained about 3.36 % K.
Although it was the lowest compared to other studied green
biomass, banana corms contained 3.80 mg/100 mg of K.
Earlier reference stated that banana plant sap showed a high
concentration of potassium in the plant [26].
It appeared that A. conyzoides are recommended as a
source of K for developing liquid organic fertilizer. It is
very important to have K in liquid organic fertilizer since K
plays important roles in increasing disease resitance,
strengthening cell walls and the quality of many fruit size
and quality. Research conducted by [27] reported that K
deficiency in organic farming might become a significant
problem for successful crop production. It is therefore very
important to ensure that liquid organic fertilizer has
sufficient K content.
Fig. 3 K content of six potential green biomasses (Means of K content
followed by the same letter is not significantly different according
Least Significant Difference 5%)
E. Calcium Content (Me/100g)
Calcium is an essential part of cell wall structure. Plant
with calcium deficiency might suffered from weakened
stems and premature shedding of blossoms and buds. Results
indicated that the amount of Ca-ex in leaf tissues of L.
leucocephala, A. conyzoides, G. sepium and banana corms
are relatively similar with the magnitude of 14.50, 14.00,
12.83, and 11.17 Me/100g, respectively (Fig. 4).
Fig. 4 Ca content of six potential green biomasses (Means of Ca content
followed by the same letter is not significantly different according
Least Significant Difference 5%)
The lowest Ca content was noticed in the leaf tissues of
T. diversifolia (7.50 Me/100g), although it was not different
with those of in E. Crassipe (10.50 Me/100g). Ca content in
561
G. sepium was much higher than research conducted by [25]
where its leaves contained about 0.95% Ca.
It appeared that both L. leucocephala and A. conyzoides
are recommended to serve as sources of calcium for
developing liquid organic fertilizer.
F. Magnesium Content (Me/100g)
This nutrient is very essential for maintaining leaf
greenness and photosynthesis as well as serves as an
activator for many enzymes required in plant growth. The
highest tissue Mg-ex content was found in A. conyzoides
(12.33 Me/100g), followed by that in leaf tissues of L.
leucocephala (8.50 Me/100g) (Fig. 5). In addition, Mg
content in leaf tissues of both G. Sepium (5,83 Me/100g) and
T. diversifolia (5,67 Me/100g) are similar to that in leaf
tissues L. leucocephala. The lowest Mg content was
recorded in the tissues of E.crassipes (4.00 Me/100g) and
banana corms (4.00 Me/100g). This result was higher than
the result of research conducted by [25] where leaves of G.
sepium contained about 0.46%. In addition, research
conducted by [20] in Ogbomoso, Nigeria, revealed that Mg
content of T. diversifolia was only 0.005%.
Fig. 5 Mg content of six potential green biomasses (Means of Mg content
followed by the same letter is not significantly different according to
Least Significant Difference 5%)
From Mg point of view, A. conyzoides is recommended to
serve as a source of Mg for developing liquid organic
fertilizer.
G. Carbon Content (%)
The highest C leaf tissue was found in E.crassipes
(62.84%), followed by those in G. sepium (47.74%) and L.
leucocephala (46.03%) and T. diversifolia (40.01%) (Fig. 6).
In addition, the leaf tissues of A. conyzoides had lower C
content (35.42%), and C content in banana corms had the
lowest C content among the tested biomasses (13.38%).
The C content of T. diversifolia reported from this finding
was much higher than that of reported by [20] where C
content in leaves was recorded as much as 14.00 %. In
addition, leaf C contents from this experiment are
comparable to a search conducted by [28] indicated that
differences in C content among plant tissues where bark,
branch, twig, coarse root, and fine root C had 37%, 76%,
48%, 81%, and 63%, respectively.
Carbon is an essential element in plant tissues that readily
combines with other elements to make organic compounds
that play very important roles in many plant metabolisms.
With respect to decomposition rates of green biomass, C
content is related to the status N content in the leaf tissues.
Higher ratios of C to N decreases the composting rates of
green biomass.
Fig. 6 C content of six potential green biomasses (Means of C content
followed by the same letter is not significantly different according to
Least Significant Difference 5%)
H. Cellulose Content (%)
The highest tissue cellulose content was found in T.
diversifolia (19.91%), followed by those in E. crassipes, A.
conyzoides and banana corms with the magnitudes of
17.09%, 14.43%, and 14.22%, respectively (Fig.7).
Although L. leucocephala had the lowest cellulose content
among the tested biomasses (7,93%), it was not significantly
different with cellulose content in leaf tissues of G. sepium
(11.89%).
Fig. 7 Cellulose content of six potential green biomasses (Means of
cellulose content followed by the same letter are not significantly different
according to Least Significant Difference 5%)
562
Cellulose is a very important polysaccharide and a major
component of tough cell walls that surround plant cells and
makes plant stems, leaves, and branches so strong. Results
form this experiment were somehow lower than reported by
by [29] where cellulose of wheat straw and switchgrass
contained 33-40 % and 30–50% of the biomass, respectively.
It is presumbable that narrow leaves had higher cellulose
contents and agroclimatic conditions of these two plants also
contributed to such differences.
I. Lignin Content (%)
Lignin content in leaf tissues determines its rate of
degradation. All studied biomass had similar lignin content,
ranged from 5.90-7.64% (Fig.8). Lignin content of T.
diversifolia, G. sepium, L. leucocephala, A. conyzoides, E.
crassipes and banana corms were 5.96%, 6.10%, 7.24%,
7.64%, 6.99%, and 7.27%, respectively. Research
conducted by [30] postulated that higher levels of lignin
could be responsible for the lower rate of degradation of dry
matter. Lignin is an integral cell wall constituent and
provides plant strength and resistance to microbial
degradation [31]. Lignin contents of studied green
biomasses might be considered as low lignin content of
biomass. In addition, lignin content of wheat straw and
switchgrass were 15-20 % and 5-20% of the biomass,
respectively [29]. This suggests that all studied green
biomasses are easily degraded and accepted as materials
used in developing liquid organic fertilizer. However, other
nutrient contents should be put into higher consideration for
using these green biomass as material to develop liquid
organic fertilizer.
Fig. 8 Lignin content of six potential green biomasses (Means of lignin
content followed by the same letter are not significantly different
according to Least Significant Difference 5%)
J. C/N
Results indicated that E.crassipes had the highest C/N
(15.12) compared to other green biomass (Fig. 9).
Meanwhile, G. sepium, L. leucocephala and banana corms
had similar C/N with the magnitudes of 9.48, 8.36 and 9.80,
respectively. The lowest C/N were found at T. diversifolia
(6.13) and A. conyzoides (5.49). Nevertheless, C/N ratios of
the evaluated green biomasses were considered to be low,
and those materials are very easy to decompose.
Fig. 9 C/N content of six potential green biomasses (Means of C/N content
followed by the same letter is not significantly different accordingn Least
Significant Difference 5%)
According to [32], during the composting, microbial
activity utilizes a C/N of 30-35. A higher ratio will result in
slower composting rates. It is presumable that C:N ratios
higher than 30 do not provide sufficient nitrogen for optimal
growth of the microbial populations and bring about green
biomass to remain relatively cool and to degrade slowly. On
the other hand, C to N ratios lower than 30 allow rapid
microbial growth and speedy decomposition of the green
biomass.
These results might be different to what had been reported
elsewhere since mineral nutrients can vary considerably
between plant species or even within a genus [33] and
geographical location [34]. In addition, nutrient content of
the same plant might be different among locations since the
rate of plant growth is determined by its local microclimate
conditions. Research conducted by [18] in Western Kenya,
for example, revealed green leaf biomass of tithonia content
were 3.5% N, 0.37% P and 4.1% K on a dry matter basis. In
Ogbomoso, Nigeria, [20] reported that chemical properties
N, P, K, Ca, Mg, C and C/N in Tithonia diversifolia were
24.04%, 1.76%, 0.82%, 3.92%, 3.07%, 0.005%, 14.00% and
8:1, respectively.
Plant species did make different in terms of nutrient
contents. Research conducted by [35] indicated that shrub of
Abeokuta, Nigeria, Caesalpinia pulcherrima, contained, P,
K, Ca and Mg as much as 0.17%, 0.48%, 1.19% and 0.23%,
respectively (dry weight basis). Meanwhile, P, K, Ca and
Mg content in Cassia mimosoides were 0.07%, 0.35%,
0.54% and 0.09%, respectively. In addition, the species of
Desmodium velutinum contained 0.05%, 0.17%, 0.85% and
0.08% of P, K, Ca and Mg, respectively. A shrub of
Flemingia macrophylla had 0.02%, 1.35%, 0.06% and
0.16% of P, K, Ca and Mg, respectively. Tephrosia
bracteolata contained 0.04%, 0.14%, 0.88% and 0.19% of P,
K, Ca and Mg, respectively, while Tephrosia densiflora had
563
0.04%, 0.18%, 2.08% and 0.45% of P, K, Ca and Mg,
respectively. Such high nutrient values present in the leaf
tissues influence the nutrient contents of produced organic
fertilizer, including compost (solid organic fertilizer). The
magnitude of compost nutrients is also determined by the
mode of the biomass application during the composting
process. According to [36] gradual application of green
biomass, Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A. Gray and
Leucaena leucocephala (Lamk.), during composting of crop
residue produced a better quality of compost which
eventually improves crop growth and development.
Results from this experiment (Figs. 1-9) provide worth
information for developing liquid organic fertilizer that
suitable for closed agriculture production systems in the
highland of Bengkulu. It was clear that none of six green
biomasses tested in this experiment provided complete high
nutrient content. Each biomass has superiority over other
biomasses in particular nutrient. It is therefore suggested
that the use of green biomass for production of liquid
organic fertilizer could not rely on single biomass. The
source of green biomass should be a combination of several
green biomasses in order to produce liquid organic fertilizer
with high N, P, K, Ca, and Mg content. In addition, it also
important to mixture the green biomasses with other natural
composting material, such as poor soil [36], wood ash [37],
cow manure [12], [13], [14], [38] in order to increase
composting rates, nutrient quality and crop yields. The use
of a single green biomass for liquid organic fertilizer might
provide high particular nutrient content, but low in other
nutrients. This was confirmed by our previous result [12],
[13], [14] where tithonia-enriched liquid organic fertilizer
contained 3,36% N, 146 ppm P, and 0.033% K. Although
nitrogen content of this liquid organic fertilizer somehow
comply with the standard quality for organic fertilizer issued
by Indonesian Standardization Board (SNI 19-7030-2004)
where total N should be > 0.4 %, but P and K content were
very much lower than standard (SNI-19-7030-2004) which
must be above 0.10% (P2O5) and 0.20% (K2O), respectively.
IV. CONCLUSIONS
This experiment concluded that there was no single green
biomass that has all high-nutrient contents. However, A.
conyzoides is the most promising green biomass for
production of liquid organic fertilizer compared to others,
followed by T. diversifolia and G. sepium. Both T.
diversifolia and A. conyzoides are promising sources for N
and P. Sources of K are A. conyzoides and G. Sepium. In
addition, L. Leucocephala and A. conyzoides are sources of
Ca and Mg nutrients. The highest C content was found in
E.crassipes, followed by G. Sepium. T. diversifolia had the
highest cellulose content, followed by E.crassipes. Lignin
content of all biomasses was similar, ranged from 5.96% to
7.45%. Lastly, C/N ratios of all studied green biomass were
less than 16 (ranged from 5.49 to 15.12). To produce liquid
organic fertilizer with high N, P, K, Ca and Mg content,
several green biomasses should be properly combined.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Sincerely thank Ministry of Research, Technology and
Higher Education, Indonesia for financing this project
through 2016 Fundamental Research Scheme.
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