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Journal of soil science and plant nutrition

On-line version ISSN 0718-9516


LESKOVAR, Daniel  and  OTHMAN, Yahia A.. Organic and conventional farming differentially influenced soil respiration, physiology, growth and head quality of artichoke cultivars. J. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr. [online]. 2018, vol.18, n.3, pp.865-880. ISSN 0718-9516.

Soil amendment using organic fertilizer has been used widely to dispose animal waste, reduce environmental pollution and improve soil and fruit quality. The objective of this two-year study was to assess the influence of organic and conventional systems on growth, marketable yield, head quality (chlorogenic acid and cynarin concentration) and soil chemical properties of globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus). Cultivars used were Deserto, Lulu, Romolo, 11-018, 12-179, Green Globe Improved and Imperial Star. Fertilizers were applied to both conventional and organic soil through drip irrigation system. In both years, significant differences were found across cultivars and soil type. Although cultivar response to soil system treatments were inconsistent across the two growing seasons, the cv. Imperial Star had the lowest marketable yield and head quality. Artichoke grown in the conventional field had higher plant height and width, chlorophyll content index (SPAD), leaf area index (LAI), stomatal conductance (gs), photosynthesis (Pn) and marketable yield. Conversely, artichoke head quality from the organic field was higher than conventional. Organic system increased chlorogenic acid by 31% and cynarin by 12% compared to the conventional system. In fact, after two years of soil amendment, organic fertilizer improved soil respiration-CO2 (soil health indicator) by 20-fold compared to chemical fertilizer (conventional field). Overall, based on this two-year study we suggest organic farming as the best system to improve soil and head quality of globe artichoke, but it may not be the best option for farmers when yield is the primary target short-term.

Keywords : Cynara cardunculus; chlorogenic acid; cynarin; photosynthesis; stomatal conductance.

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