The study of earthworm cast and anthill as plant-soil systems and the surrounding soil is helpful in the appraisal of soil and crop productivity. Therefore, this study was carried out in a tropical and subtropical area to determine the effect of plant-soil systems and the surrounding soil on the yield parameters (plant height, leave surface and dry matter weight) of maize (Oba Super 2) under greenhouse condition. Analyses of soil samples of earthworm cast, anthill (termite mound) collected by hand sampling and the surrounding soil collected with core samplers at 10 cm depth and auger samplers at 2 depths (surface, 0 to 15 cm; subsurface, 15 to 30 cm) were examined for chemical and physical properties. Three kilograms each of the soils from three locations (Nsukka, Ede Oballa and Orba) was used for testing maize. Earthworm species (Eudrilus eugeriae and Agrotoreutus nyongii) and termite species (Macrotermes and Odontotermes species) that produced the mounds and termite mounds were identified, respectively. The study results found that soil physical and chemical properties were significantly (P<0.05) affected by the plant-soil systems relative to control. Interaction of the plant-soil systems by location and by soil depth was significant (P<0.05) for the measured soil parameters such as soil pH, organic carbon, nitrogen, exchangeable cations (Ca+2, Mg+2, K+ except Na+), CEC and available P. Plant height, leaf surface and dry matter yield of maize were found significantly positively (P<0.05) increased. For better and sustainable improvement of soil productivity and yield of maize crop, combined use of earthworm cast and termite mound as plant-soil systems is recommended.
Key words: Maize performance, mounds, termite, cast, earthworm, greenhouse, Nigeria.
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