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Original Article

Investigating the Relationship between Soil Properties and Morphological Traits and Volatile Oil Components of Ferula assa-foetida L. under Habitat Conditions in Kerman Province, Iran



Ferula assa-foetida L. is an endangered and important medicinal plant in Iran. The knowledge of its ecological relationships will lead to plant conservation and reproduction objectives and better economic performance. This research was aimed to investigate the relationship between soil factors and plant morphology and oil components of the F. assa-foetida under habitat conditions in Kerman province in 2021. Morphological and latex traits of 20 plant stands were evaluated in a plain area. Soil samples were also taken from a depth of 0-30 cm under plant stands for analyzing its physiochemical properties. In order to identify the ecological relationships between soil and plant factors, the data were subjected to Pearson correlation and Principal Component Analysis )PCA). The results showed that morphological traits of the F. assa-foetida stands and quantitative and qualitative traits of latex had significant relationships with soil fertility traits (i.e. Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Organic matter(. Plant factors i.e. leave diamete, thousand seed weight, root diameter, and seed production per plant were positively correlated with soil fertility factors (P<0.01). Moreover, from 21 components identified in the F. assa-foetida volatile essential oil, Bicyclo 3.1.1, heptane,6,6-dimet…, Carbonothioic dihydrazide, Thiopropionamide and Naphthalene, 1,2,3,5,6,8a-hexahy were positively correlated with soil fertility factors (P<0.01) and in contrast, n-Propyl sec-butyl disulfide and 1,3,6-0ctatriene, 3,7-dimethyl were negatively correlated with soil fertility factors (P<0.01). In general, the morphological traits and the quality of plant latex are under the direct influence of both the fertility and the physical traits of the soil; so, the results are important for management and economic purposes.