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International Journal of Agronomy
Volume 2011, Article ID 175958, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/175958
Research Article

Growth and Nutrient Use Efficiencies of Yams (Dioscorea spp.) Grown in Two Contrasting Soils of West Africa

1Swiss Centre for Scientific Research (CSRS), BP 1303 Abidjan 01, Cote d'Ivoire
2Department of Water, Forest and Environment, National Institute of Technology, BP 1093 Yamoussoukro 01, Cote d'Ivoire
3Fondation Rurale InterJurassienne (FRIJ), Case Postale 65-2852 Courtételle, Switzerland
4Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, 20400 Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
5Group of Plant Nutrition, Research Station Eschikon, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Eschikon, 8315 Lindau, Switzerland

Received 1 December 2010; Revised 26 May 2011; Accepted 8 June 2011

Academic Editor: Rodomiro Ortiz

Copyright © 2011 Lucien N'Guessan Diby et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Fertilization is an important management strategy of yams (Dioscorea spp.) especially when grown in degraded soils. A field study evaluated the leaf numbers, leaf area indices, crop growth, yields, and nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) use efficiencies of D. alata and D. rotundata in Côte d'Ivoire when grown in two contrasting soils with and without fertilizer. D. alata had a lower number of leaves per vine, although leaf area indices were higher, and the leaves were retained for a longer period than in D. rotundata. In all situations, the yields of D. alata were significantly higher, and fertilizers promoted growth of shoots, roots, tubers, and, thus, final yields especially in the low fertile savanna soil. The beneficial impact of fertilizer on yields was significantly lower in the fertile forest soils. The nutrient use agronomic efficiencies indicated the impact of both N and K in promoting yields especially under nonfertilized conditions.