Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 24 (3) December 2012, p. 1533-1541 ZURAIDAH Yahya* ; AHMAD TARMIZI Mohammed* ; MOHD HANIFF Harun* ; ABD RAHIM Shuib*
A study was carried out to evaluate the ability of oil palm to adapt to compacted Bernam series soil (Typic Endoaquepts). After six years of soil compaction treatments, the mean soil bulk density, available water as well as the percentages of mesopores and micropores increased, whereas total porosity, hydraulic conductivity, infiltration rate and percentage of macropores decreased. Fresh fruit bunch (FFB) yield increased significantly with increased mean soil bulk density. On the other hand, the treatments resulted in significant reductions in oil palm standing biomass, root biomass as well as frond dry weight. Total green frond number, total leaf area and leaf area index were not affected by the treatments. The growth of oil palm roots was significantly affected by the compacted soil, resulting in lower primary and secondary root production, but compensated for by the production of longer and thicker tertiary and quaternary roots. The treatments caused changes in the soil physical properties and resulted in soil compaction, which then affected oil palm performance. The palms showed adaptation to these changes and responded positively by producing better yield following the compaction treatments. This shows that compacted soil may not be a problem to oil palm planted in the Bernam series soil.KEYWORDS:
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board,
P. O. Box 10620,
50720 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.