Litter dynamics of six multipurpose trees in a homegarden in Southern Kerala, India
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Multipurpose trees, the integral components of homegardens, contribute significantly to the closed nutrient cycling processes and sustainability of the ecosystem. Although, the litter production and probable nutrient returns via litter in homegardens have been documented, quantification and characterization of the decomposition and bioelement release from the litter have received relatively little scientific attention. The objective of the present study is to explore the litter dynamics of six locally important multipurpose trees (Mangifera indica L., Artocarpus heterophyllus Lamk., Anacardium occidentale L., Ailanthus triphysa Dennst., Artocarpus hirsutus L. and Swietenia macrophylla L.), in an agroforestry homegarden in Southern Kerala, India. Litterfall and nutrient additions in the six species ranged from 383 to 868 g m−2 yr−1, nitrogen, 6.4 to 8.8, phosphorus, 0.17 to 0.42 and potassium, 1.1 to 2.8 g m−2 yr−1. The annual litter output in the homegarden was 425 kg with A. hirsutus, M. indica, A. heterophyllus and A. occidentale recording significantly higher litter and nutrient additions. Leaf litter decay studies revealed A. heterophyllus and A. occidentale to be the most labile litter species and S. macrophylla the most recalcitrant. The decay rate coefficients varied significantly among the species. Foliage decomposition rates related to the initial chemical composition of the litter revealed best correlation with lignin. NPK release was almost complete by the end of decay in all species inspite of the initial phases of accumulation observed for nitrogen and phosphorus. Two-way analysis of variance test revealed significant differences in the contents of the three elements as a function of species and time elapsed. Macronutrients were released in the order K>N/P. The higher rates of decay and nutrient turnover in M. indica, A. heterophyllus and A. occidentale foliage indicated the potential of using these species’ litter as nutrient inputs in agriculture while A. triphysa, A. hirsutus and S. macrophylla perform better as organic mulches taking a longer time for decay and hence nutrient release.
- Anderson, J.M., Ingram, J.S.I. (1989) Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility: A Handbook of Methods. CAB International, Oxon, UK
- Berg, B., Wessen, B., Ekbohm, G. (1982) Nitrogen level and lignin decomposition in Scots pine needles. Oikos 38: pp. 291-296
- Berg B., McClaugherty C. and Johansson M.B. 1992. Litter mass loss rates in late stages of decomposition at some climatically and nutritionally different pine sites: a study on the effects of climate change. Dept. of Forest Ecology and Forest Soils, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Report No. R 67.
- Bockheim, J.G., Jepsen, E.A., Heisey, D.M. (1991) Nutrient dynamics in decomposing leaf litter of four tree species on a sandy soil in north western Wisconsin. Can. J. For. Res. 21: pp. 803-812
- Gallardo, A., Merino, J. (1993) Leaf decomposition of two Mediterranean ecosystems of South West Spain: Influence of substrate quality. Ecology 74: pp. 152-161 CrossRef
- George, S.J., Kumar, B.M. (1998) Litter dynamics and cumulative soil fertility changes in silvopastural systems of a humid tropical region in Central KeralaIndia. Intl. Tree Crops J. 9: pp. 267-282
- Jamaludheen, V., Kumar, M.B. (1999) Litter of multipurpose trees in KeralaIndia: variations in the amounts, quality, decay rates and release of nutrients. For. Ecol. Manage. 115: pp. 1-11 CrossRef
- Kumar, B.M., Nair, P.K.R. (2004) The enigma of tropical homegardens. Agroforest. Syst. 61: pp. 135-152 CrossRef
- Kumar, B.M., Deepu Jose, K. (1992) Litter production and decomposition dynamics in moist deciduous forests of western ghats in peninsular India. For. Ecol. Manage. 50: pp. 181-201 CrossRef
- Lavelle, P., Blanchart, E., Martin, A., Martin, S., Spain, A., Toutain, A., Barois, F., Schaefer, R. (1993) A hierarchial model for decomposition in terrestrial systems: application to soils of humid tropics. Biotropica 25: pp. 130-150 CrossRef
- Mafongoya, P.L., Giller, K.E., Palm, C.A. (1998) Decomposition and nitrogen release pattern of tree prunings and litter. Agroforest. Syst. 38: pp. 77-97 CrossRef
- Mathew Happy, John J. and Nair M.A. 1996. Dynamics of an agroforestry homegarden in the humid tropics- a case study from Southern Kerala. In: Proc. Of the Eighth Kerala Science Congress, PalakadKerala pp.208.
- Nair M.A., Abraham J., John J. and Sanjeev V. 1996. Biomass productions and nutrient cycling for sustainability in agroforestry homegardens in Kerala –a case study. In: Proc. Of National Seminar on Organic Farming and Substantial Agriculture. UAS, Bangalorepp. 19–20.
- Okeke, A.I., Omaliko, C.P.E. (1991) Nutrient accretions to the soil via litterfall and throughfall in Acioa barteri stands at OzalaNigeria. Agroforest. Syst. 16: pp. 223-229 CrossRef
- Okeke, A.I., Omaliko, C.P.E. (1992) Leaf litter decomposition and carbon dioxide evolution of some agroforestry fallow species in southern Nigeria. For. Ecol. Manage. 50: pp. 103-116 CrossRef
- Palm, C.A., Sanchez, P.A. (1990) Decomposition and nutrient release patterns of the leaves of three tropical legumes. Biotropica 22: pp. 330-338 CrossRef
- Sadasivam, S., Manickam, A. (1992) Biochemical Methods for Agricultural Sciences. Wiley Eastern Limited, New Delhi
- Salamanca Eri, F., Kancko, N., Katagiri, S. (1998) Nutrient dynamics in decomposing forest leaf litter: a comparison of field and laboratory microcosm approach. J. For. Res. 3: pp. 91-98
- Saravanan, A., Kalieswari, R.K., Nambeesan, K.M.R., Sankaralingam, P. (1995) Leaf litter accumulation and mineralisation pattern of hilly soils. Madras Agric. J. 82: pp. 184-187
- Stohlgren, T.J. (1988) Litter dynamics in two Sierran mixed conifer forests: litterfall and decomposition rates. II. Nutrient release in decomposing leaf litter. Can. J. For. Res. 18: pp. 1127-1144
- Tian, G., Brussaard, L., Kang, B.T. (1995) Breakdown of plant residues with contrasting chemical compositions: Effect of earthworms and millipedes. Soil Biol. Biochem. 27: pp. 277-280 CrossRef
- Tian, G., Olimah, J.A., Adeoye, G.O., Kang, B.T. (2000) Regeneration of earthworm populations in a degraded soil by natural and planted fallows under humid tropical conditions. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 64: pp. 222-228 CrossRef
- Torquebiau, E. (1992) Are tropical agroforestry systems sustainable?. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 41: pp. 189-207 CrossRef
- Toky, O.P., Singh, V. (1993) Litter dynamics in short rotation high density tree plantations in an arid region of India. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 45: pp. 129-145 CrossRef
- White, D.L., Haines, B.L., Boring, L.R. (1988) Litter decomposition in southern Appalachian black locust and pine-hardwood stands: litter quality and nitrogen dynamics. Can. J. For. Res. 18: pp. 54-63
- Young A. 1997. Agroforestry for Soil Management. 2nd edn. CAB International and ICRAF, pp. 47–109.
- Litter dynamics of six multipurpose trees in a homegarden in Southern Kerala, India
Volume 67, Issue 3 , pp 203-213
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- Nutrient dynamics
- Industry Sectors