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Quantification of Plant available Zinc, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Boron, and Visualization of their Spatial Distribution through GIS in District Mandi Bahauddin, Punjab, Pakistan

Quantification of Plant available Zinc, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Boron, and Visualization of their Spatial Distribution through GIS in District Mandi Bahauddin, Punjab, Pakistan

Zahid Hassan Tarar1, Muhammad Salik Ali Khan2*, Shahzada Munawar Mehdi3, Raza Salim4, Irfan Ahmad Saleem1, Saima Nazar5, Munir David2, Tahir Majeed6, Muhammad Sufyan Mughal7, Muhammad Saleem8, Umer Iqbal9, Muhammad Mazhar Iqbal10 and Muhammad Khalid Shaheen

1Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Mandi Bahauddin, Punjab, Pakistan; 2Provincial Reference Fertilizer Testing Laboratory, Raiwind, Lahore, Pakistan; 3Soil Fertility Research Institute, Thokar Niaz Baig, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan; 4Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Narowal, Punjab, Pakistan; 5Agricultural Officer (Field) Gujrat, Punjab, Pakistan; 6Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Attock, Punjab, Pakistan; 7Office of Chief Engineer, Drainage and Flood Zone, Irrigation Department, Thokar Niaz Baig, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan; 8Agricultural officer (Field), Vehari, Punjab, Pakistan; 9Scientific Officer, Crop Diseases Research Institute, NARC, Islamabad, Punjab, Pakistan.; 10Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Chiniot, Punjab, Pakistan.  


Micronutrients deficiency in alkaline-calcareous soils is a major constraint to get optimum crop yield. The possible solution could be the site-specific nutrient management after assessing the micronutrient status at a particular site. This study was conducted to quantify and visualize the spread of plant available micronutrients in district Mandi Bahauddin. Total 1194 georeferenced soil samples were collected at a depth of 0-15cm maintaining a sampling grid cell size of 10-acres (40469 m2) throughout the sampling area. These samples were analyzed for plant available Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn) following Diethylenetriamine Penta-Acetate (DTPA) extraction methodology. Quantification was carried out by Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS). Hot water-soluble (HWS) Boron (B) was determined spectrophotometrically. Additionally, soil samples were also analysed for electrical conductivity (EC), soil pH and soil organic matter (SOM) contents. These characteristics were correlated with plant available micronutrients. The DTPA-extractable Zn, Cu, Fe, and Mn ranged from 0.07-5.60, 0.11-1.22, 0.74-7.45 and 0.02-3.39 mg/Kg soil, respectively. Boron ranged from 0.06-0.69 mg/Kg soil. Considering the critical limits set by National Agricultural Research Center (NARC), Islamabad, Pakistan, 92% soil samples were found deficient in B followed by 44% soil samples low in Fe. Whereas, Zn, Cu and Mn were deficient in 5, 1 and 12 % of soil samples, respectively. Soil EC and pH of analysed samples ranged from 0.10 to 3.74 dSm-1 and 6.70 to 8.40, respectively. Soil was free from salinity and sodicity menace. However, soil was deficient regarding SOM with mean value of 0.69%. The correlations between soil pH and plant available Zn, Fe, Mn, and B were significant and negative. The ordinary kriging technique was used to assess the micronutrient status at non-sampling sites and research area was classified into low, marginal, and adequate categories according to plant available micronutrient status. Digital maps thus developed using Quantum Geographic Information System (QGIS) would help to apply micronutrients more precisely and site-specifically.  

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Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Research


Vol.37, Iss. 1, Pages 1-87


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