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Volume 1 (2001), Pages 130-134
Research Article

Optimization of Aquatic-Terrestrial Ecosystem in Relation to Soil Nitrogen Status for the Cultivation of Fish and Aquatic Food Crops of the Indian Subtropics

Department of Agronomy, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Nadia, West Bengal, India

Academic Editor: Joe Wisniewski

Copyright © 2001 A.M. Puste and D.K. Das.


A case study was undertaken during wet and postwet seasons to improve the perennial and alternate submerged saucer-shaped ponded lands (tal and semi-tal lands) in the coasts and northeastern plains of the Indian subtropics through pisciculture and cultivation of starch- and protein-rich aquatic food crops like water chestnut (Trapa bispinosa Roxb.) and makhana or fox nut (Euryale ferox Salisb.). The study revealed that the physico-chemical properties of soils (pH, organic C, organic matter, available N, P, and K) as well as quality of water (pH, EC, BOD, COD, CO3+, HCO3�, NO3-N, SO4-S, and Cl�), growing fish, makhana, and water chestnut was remarkably influenced by different moisture regimes and exhibited a significant improvement of soil health. The amount of organic C, available N, P, and K content were found significantly highest in the treatment where makhana was grown under alternate flooding and drying situation with a depth >2 m as compared to other treatments. Such enrichment of soil fertility, particularly in available N and P content, might be due to the accumulation of considerable amounts of biomass and fish excreta and their subsequent decomposition in situ in the soils. Therefore, the present study suggests that the N-enriched soil may effectively be utilized further for growing subsequent arable crops surroundings during summer season, which not only saves the amount of applied N fertilizer but also increases the apparent N efficiency with simultaneous increase in yield, and would benefit the farmers in this region.