Meta-Analysis of the Impact of Soil Fertilizers on Quantitative and Quality Yield of Medicinal Plants: From Past to Now

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Agrotechnology, College of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad

2 Agrotecnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of agriculture, Islamic Azad University. Ghaenat Branch, Ghaenat, Iran

4 Ferdowsi university, Mashhad, Iran


Background and objectives
Meta-analysis is a comprehensive statistical analysis method for multiple independent experiments under the same subject. In the agricultural research field, the technique is mainly used for the comprehensive study of trials to explore the response characteristics of the main treatments (11). Due to the dispersions and differences in the results of studies on the effect of fertilizers on the growth and quantitative and qualitative yield of important medicinal species, in this study, meta-analysis method was used.
Materials and methods
We conducted a global meta-analysis to evaluate the effect of various fertilizers on quantitative yield and quality of some medicinal plants including psyllium, fennel, basil, savory, dill, black seed and cumin using data obtained from peer-reviewed publication during past 50-year based on a ROSES protocol. So, 78 studies were selected that they representing 18 studies on psyllium, 8 studies on fennel, 12 studies on basil, 11 studies on savory, 7 studies on dill, 9 studies on black seed and 13 studies on cumin. Hedges effect size, publication bias (by using Begg and Mazumdar correlation) and Kendall's Tau coefficient were computed and funnel graphs were drawn by using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software, version 2.
Based on the results, the highest effect size was related to the impact of humic acid on dried weight of stigma (g=3.434). After humic acid, biofertilizer, chemical fertilizer and compost were computed in the next ranks. Based on the Hedges effect size, vermicompost (g=1.106) had the highest impact on psyllium yield of and the next rank was computed for integrated fertilizers (g=0.061). Different fertilizers had not significant effect on yield of fennel and dill. The results revealed that bio-fertilizer (g=0.553) had significant effect on yield of black seed. Also, cumin yield was significantly affected by integrated and chemical fertilizers. Effect size values for manure, vermicompost and integrated fertilizers on mucilage percentage of psyllium were computed significant impact with 0.6, 0.9 and 0.7, respectively. Manure, bio-fertilizer and integrated fertilizers were also significant on essential oil content of fennel, black seed and cumin. The results of Begg and Mazumdar correlation revealed that the impact of chemical fertilizer was heterogeneous on cumin and these fertilizers are not recommended for the medicinal plant species. The effect of chemical fertilizer was calculated as homogeneous on leaf dried weight of basil. In other cases, the application of biofertilizer, vermicompost and manure are homogeneous and recommended for these crops with 95% confidence interval.

Totally, there was high residual heterogeneity in meta-analyses of soil fertilizers on different species of medicinal plants, suggesting that a large amount of further research with detailed analysis of soil physical, chemical and biological properties is also required to fully understand the influence of fertilizer treatments on growth, quantitative yield, and quality oil yield. This meta-analysis quantified the growth and yield of medicinal plant affected as different fertilizers based on available scientific evidence, providing a basis for improvement of medicinal plants management.


Main Subjects

  1. García-Mier, L., Guevara-González, R.G., Mondragón-Olguín, V.M., del Rocío Verduzco-Cuellar, B. and Irineo Torres-Pacheco, I. 2013. Agriculture and Bio actives: Achieving both crop yield and phytochemicals. J. Mol. Sci. 14: 2. 4203-4222.
  2. Fan, X., Chen, Z., Niu, Z., Zeng, R., Ou, J., Liu, X. and Wang, X. 2021. Replacing synthetic nitrogen fertilizer with different types of organic materials improves grain yield in China: A meta-analysis. Agronomy. 11: 12. 2429.
  3. Davis, G.S., Oram, J.S. and Ryan, J.G. 1999. Assessment of agricultural research priorities: An international perspective. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra, Australia.
  4. Lale, U., Pretty, J., Terry, E. and Trigo, E. 2010. Transformimg agricultural research for development. Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development, Montpellier, France, March 2010.
  5. Nassiri Mahallati, M., Koocheki, A., Ghorbani, R. and Khorramdel, S. 2013. 30 Years of agronomic research in Iran: I. Evaluation of trends, gaps and setting priorities. J. Agroecol. 5: 4. 383-394. (In Persian)
  6. Osareh, F. and Marefat, R. 2005. Iranian researchers to participate in the production of global science in MEDLINE (Interdisciplinary field between Science and Medicine). Rahyaft J. (35): 39-44. (In Persian)
  7. Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI), 2005. 2005 environmental sustainability index: Benchmarking national environmental stewardship. Yale Center for Environmental Low and Policy. Yale University.
  8. Pretty, J., Sutherland, W.J., Ashby, J., Auburn, J., Baulcombe, D., Bell., M., Bentley, J., Bickersteth, S., Brown, K., Burke, J., Campbell, H., Chen, K., Crowley, E., Crute, I., Dobbelaere, D., Jones, G.E., Monzote, F.F., Godfray, C.J., Griffon, M., Gyipmantisiri, P., Hddad, L., Halavatau, S., Herren, H., Holderness., M., Izac, A.M., Jones, M., Koohafkan, P., Lal, R., Lang, T., McNeely, J., Mueller, A., Nishett, N., Noble, A., Pingall, P., Pinto, Y., Robbinge, R., Ravinderanath, N.H., Rala, A., Rolling, N., Sage, C., Settle, W., Sha, J.W., Shiming, L., Simons, T., Smith, P., Sterzepeck, K., Swine, H., Terry, E., Tonich, T.P., Toulmin, C., Trigo, E., Twonlow, S., Vis, J.K., Wilson, J. and Pligrim, S. 2010. The top 100 questions of importance to the future of global agriculture. Int. J. Agric. Sustain. 8: 4. 220-238.
  9. TAC/CGIAR. 2008. Sustainable agricultural production: Implications for international agricultural research. FAO Research and Technology Paper, TAC/CGIAR, Rome.
  10. Mannion, A.M. 2005. Agriculture and environmental change: Temporal and spatial dimensions. John Wiley and Sons, England.
  11. Alison, J.M., Chan-Kang, C., Marra, M.C., Pardey, P.G. and Wyatt, T.J. 2001. A meta-analysis on rate of return for agricultural R&D. IFPRI Research Report 113, Washington DC.
  12. Yang, J.H., Luo, Y.L., Chen, J., Jin, M., Wang, Z.L. and Li, Y. 2020. Effects of main food yield under straw return in China: A meta-analysis. Sci. Agric. Sin. 21: 4415-4429.
  13. Zhang, R., Zhao, X., Pu, C., Liu, S.L., Xue, J.F., Zhang, X.Q., Chen, F. and Zhang, H.L. 2015. Meta-analysis on effects of residue retention on soil N2O emissions and influence factors in China. Trans. Chin. Soc. Agric. Eng. 31: 22. 1-6.
  14. Chen, H., Dai, Z., Veach, A.M., Zheng, J., Xu, J. and Schadt, C.W. 2020. Global meta-analyses show that conservation tillage practices promote soil fungal and bacterial biomass. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 293: 1. 106841.
  15. Raissi, A.S. 2012. Effect of organic manure, biological and chemical fertilizers on seed capabilities, qualitative and quantitative properties of Isabgol. M.Sc. Thesis, College of Agriculture, University of Zabol. Iran. (In Persian)
  16. Adu, M.O., Yawson, D.O., Abano, E.E., Asare, P.A., Armah, F.A. and Opoku, E.K. 2019. Does water-saving irrigation improve the quality of fruits and vegetables? Evidence from meta-analysis. Irrig. Sci. 37: 6. 669-690.
  17. Cheng, M., Wang, H., Fan, J., Zhang, S., Wang, Y., Li, Y., Sun, X., Yang, L. and Zhang, F. 2021. Water productivity and seed cotton yield in response to deficit irrigation: A global meta-analysis. Agric. Water Manag. 255: c. 107027.
  18. Sadras, V.O. 2008. Does partial root-zone drying improve irrigation water productivity in the field? A meta-analysis. Irrig. Sci. 27: 3. 183-190.
  19. Delbaz, R., Ebrahimian, H., Abbasi, F. and Nazi Ghameshlou, A. 2021. Meta-analysis of surface and drip fertigation effectiveness on crop yield, fertilizer, and water productivity. J. Water Res. Agric. 35: 2. 139-150. (In Persian)
  20. Razaji, A., Panknejad, F., Moarefi, M., Mahdavi Damghani, A. and Nabi Ilkaee, M. 2020. Meta-analytical study of the effect of drought stress on cotton’s performance and its components in Iran. J. Crop Ecophysiol. 14: 1. 157-172. (In Persian)
  21. Khorramdel, S., Mokhtari, M. and Latifi, H. 2022. The impact of various soil fertilizers on yield and growth criteria of saffron: A meta-analysis of field studies. Saffron Agron. Technol. In Press. (In Persian)
  22. Mokhtari, M., Koocheki, A. and Nassiri Mahallati, M. 2018. Meta-analysis of saffron (Crocus sativus ) agronomical researches, with an emphasis on the consumption of organic fertilizers and agronomical practices in Iran. Saffron Agron. Technol. 5: 4. 311-327. (In Persian)
  23. Haddaway, N.R., Macura, B., Whaley, P. and Pullin, A.S. 2018. ROSES Reporting standards for Systematic Evidence Syntheses: Pro forma, flow-diagram and descriptive summary of the plan and conduct of environmental systematic reviews and systematic maps. Environ. Evid. 7: 1. 1-8.
  24. Cooper, H.M. and Hedges, L.V. 1994. The Hand Book of Research Synthesis. Russell Sage Foundation. New York.
  25. Ghazi-Tabatabaei, M. and Vedadhir, A.A. 2010. Meta-Analysis in Social and Behavioral Research. Press Jameashnasan, Tehran, Iran. 296p. (In Persian)
  26. Light, R. and Pillemer, D. 1984. Summing up. The science of reviewing research. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
  27. Rothstein, H.R., Sutton, A.J. and Borenstein, M. 2005. Publication Bias in Meta-analysis: Prevention, Assessment and Adjustment. 2005, Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  28. Borenstein, M., Hedges, L., Higgins, J.P.T. and Rothstein, H.R. 2009. Introduction meta-analysis. A John Wiley and Sons, Ltd., Publication, Cornwall, UK.
  29. Vatan Shenas, M. 2017. Effects of organic, bio and chemical fertilizers on morphological and physiological characteristics of medicinal plant Plantago psyllium. M.Sc. Thesis, College of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. (In Persian)
  30. Bakhshi, 2013. Effect of chemical, organic and biological fertilizers on quantity and quality criteria of isabgol (plantago ovata) on low-input system. M.Sc. Thesis, College of Agriculture, University of Zabol. Iran. (In Persian)
  31. Shafeei Noghlebari, S. 2018. Effect of nitrogen and manure application on seed yield and essential oil content of fennel. M.Sc. Thesis, College of Agriculture, University of Guilan. Iran. (In Persian)
  32. Fazecas, I., Borccan, I., Lazar, V., Samaila, M. and Nistoran, I. 1991. Studies on the effects of fertilizers and sowing date on the yield and essential oil content in (Pimpinella anisum) in the years 1978-1980. Lucrari Scientific. Institute Agronomic Timisoara, Agronomic. 18: 84-91.
  33. Rabii, A. 2013. Effect of manure, chemical and biological fertilizers on seed yield and essence content of Cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.). M.Sc. Thesis, College of Agriculture, Vali-E-Asr University of Rafsanjan. Iran. (In Persian)
  34. Binandeh, M. 2017. Effect of biochemical fertilizer and their combination on qualitative and quantitative characteristics in cumin accessions. M.Sc. Thesis, College of Agriculture, Shahed University. (In Persian)
  35. Sharma, T., Kaur, A., Supreet Saajan, S. and Thakur, R. 2020. Effect of nitrogen on growth and yield of medicinal plants: A review paper. Eur. J. Mol. Clin. Med. 7: 7. 2771-2776.
  36. Azarpeyvand, H. 2012. Effect of biological and chemical fertilizers on quantitative and qualitative characteristics of basil. M.Sc. Thesis, College of Agriculture, University of Birjand. Iran. (In Persian)
  37. Kazemi Hessar, Z. 2014. The effect of biofertilizers on growth parameters, and quantitative and qualitative characteristics in three plant accession of savory (Satureja hortensis) the two cultures. M.Sc. Thesis, College of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Iran. (In Persian)
  38. Moradi, R., Rezvani, Moghaddam, P., Nassiri, Mahallati, M. and Lakzian, A. 2009. The effect of application of organic and biological fertilizers on yield, yield components and essential oil of Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel). Iran. J. Field Crop Res. 7: 2. 625-635. (In Persian)
  39. Ibrahim, M.H., Jaafar, H.Z.E., Karimi, E. and Ghasemzadeh, A. 2013. Impact of organic and inorganic fertilizers application on the phytochemical and antioxidant activity of Kacip Fatimah (Labisia pumila Benth). 18: 9. 10973-10988.
  40. Ahmadi, F., Samadi, A. and Rahimi, A. 2020. Improving growth properties and phytochemical compounds of Echinacea purpurea medicinal plant using novel nitrogen slow-release fertilizer under greenhouse conditions. Sci. Rep. 10: 1. 13842.
  41. Khosh, G.S. 1999. Green revolution: preparing for the 21th Genome. 42: 646-655.