Impact of organic compost and humic acid on essential oil composition of sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare var. Dulce) under sandy soil conditions in Egypt
Two field experiments were carried out at the Experimental Farm of National Research Centre (NRC), Egypt during two seasons (2010/2011 and 2011/2012) to investigate the effect of compost and / or humic acid on fruit yield and essential oil [(%) and yield (ml plant-1)] of sweet fennel cultivated in sand soil. Humic acid or compost had a significant effect on fruit yield (g plant-1) while the treatments interaction had more significant for the same character. Essential oil (%) and essential oil yield (ml plant-1) were more significant for humic acid or compost. The interaction treatments between humic acid and compost were highly significant for both essential oil % and oil yield (ml plant -1). Trans-anethole, estragole and fenchone were found to be the major compounds in the essential oil of sweet fennel. The maximum mean values of trans-anethole (71.1 %), estragole (35.3%) and fenchone (8.6%) were resulted from 15 kg ha -1 of humic acid, 0 kg ha -1 of humic acid (with compost) and 5 kg ha -1 of humic acid (with compost) treatments, respectively. The highest relative percentage of monoterpene hydrocarbons (2.9%) was obtained as a result of humic acid at 10 Kg ha-1 without compost. On the other hand control (without humic and compost) as well as humic at 5 Kg plant-1 without compost gave the maximum relative percentage for oxygenated monoterpene (97.5%).
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