Exploration of plant biodiversity for nutrient harvesting

Abstract There are considerable differences among plant species in the amount of nutrients required for biomass production, indicating the differential ability of the species to utilize nutrients for growth. Exploitation of this ability for nutrient absorption is a good option for nutrient management in organic agriculture. Different plant species growing in the wild habitats in the Western Ghats and wastelands of the western coasts were screened for phyto-accumulation capacity with respect to macro and micronutrients. Based on the analysis, phyto-accumulators of each nutrient was identified. Considering the overall nutrient concentration, ten plant species were identified as potential plants which can be utilized for nutrient management in organic farming. Plants like Mirabilis jalapa and Canna indica which are super accumulators and possess underground stems are promising plant species for nutrient harvesting as the above ground portion can be harvested without destroying the plants.

Keywords Canna indica, Mirabilis jalapa, Organic farming, Phyto accumulation, Western ghats.

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