Ibiremo, O.S., Daniel, M.A, Oloyede, A.A and Iremiren, G.O.
A greenhouse study was carried out to evaluate the effect of phosphate fertilizer types and Arbuscular Mycorrhizal fungi inoculation (AMF) on the growth of coffee seedlings in two soil types in Nigeria. The trial was a factorial experiment involving two types of P-fertilizers (Single Super Phosphate and Sokoto Rock Phosphate) and mycorrhizal inoculation. The P-fertilizers were applied at 10kg P205/ha and a control (no-P fertilizer application) while the AMF was applied at two levels (with and without inoculation). The six treatments combinations were applied to two-month old coffee seedlings grown in the two soils (Ibadan and Mambilla). The experiments were laid out in a CRD with three replications and data on growth of coffee and soil parameters were taken for six months. In Mambilla soil, the height and stem diameter of coffee seedlings were significantly (P< 0.05) higher as a result of application of SSP and mycorrhizal inoculation compared with SRP and inoculation or the control. The number of leaves and leaf area were significantly (P< 0.05) improved due to application of SSP and SRP with or without mycorrhizal inoculation in Mambilla soil while in Ibadan soil, mycorrhizal inoculation resulted in consistent and significant improvement on the stem diameter and leaf area of coffee seedlings. Soil pH and Organic Carbon were not significantly affected by the application of phosphate fertilizer types in both soils. However, the soil available P was significantly (P< 0.05) enhanced in the two soils due to application of SSP with or without mycorrhizal inoculation. Similarly, the root colonization of coffee seedlings at 6 MAT was significantly higher as a result of mycorrhizal inoculation without P-fertilizer application compared with root colonization under SSP application and mycorrhizal inoculation in Mambilla soil. The mycorrhizal inoculation with or without Phosphate fertilizer did not significantly affect the colonization of coffee seedling roots in Ibadan soil. SRP had a comparable effect with SSP on the growth of coffee seedlings especially under mycorrhizal inoculation; hence, SRP is a promising substitute for inorganic phosphate sources for coffee seedling production in Nigeria.
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