Nitrogen use efficiency of monoculture and hedgerow intercropping in the humid tropics Article Received: 05 January 2004 Accepted: 26 April 2004 DOI:
Cite this article as: Rowe, E.C., Noordwijk, M.V., Suprayogo, D. et al. Plant Soil (2005) 268: 61. doi:10.1007/s11104-004-0227-2 Abstract
The design of productive and efficient intercropping systems depends on achieving complementarity between component species’ resource capture niches. Spatiotemporal patterns of capture and use of pruning and urea nitrogen (N) by trees and intercrops were elucidated by isotopic tracing, and consequences for nitrogen use efficiency were examined. During the first cropping season after applying urea−
15N, maize accounted for most of the plant 15N recovery in Peltophorum dasyrrachis (33.5%) and Gliricidia sepium (22.3%) hedgerow intercropping systems. Maize yield was greatest in monoculture, and maize in monoculture also recovered a greater proportion of urea 15N (42%) than intercropped maize. Nitrogen recovery during active crop growth will not be increased by hedgerow intercropping if hedgerows adversely affect crop growth through competition for other resources. However, hedgerows recovered substantial amounts of 15N during both cropping cycles (e.g. a total of 13–22%), showing evidence of spatio-temporal complementarity with crops in the spatial distribution of roots and the temporal distribution of Nuptake. The degree of complementarity was species-specific, showing the importance of selecting appropriate trees for simultaneous agroforestry. After the first cropping season 17–34% of 15N applied was unaccounted for in the plant-soil system. Urea and prunings N were recovered by hedgerows in similar amounts. By the end of the second (groundnut) cropping cycle, total plant 15N recovery was similar in all cropping systems. Less N was taken up by the maize crop from applications of labelled prunings (5–7%) than from labelled urea (22–34%), but the second crop recovered similar amounts from these two sources, implying that prunings N is more persistent than urea N. More 15N was recovered by the downslope hedgerow than the upslope hedgerow, demonstrating the interception of laterally flowing N by hedgerows. Keywords agroforestry competition complementarity isotope subsoil uptake References Akinnifesi, F K, Kang, B T, Sanginga, N, Tijani-Eniola, H 1997 Nitrogen use efficiency and Ncompetition between Leucaena hedgerows and maize in an alley cropping system Nutr. Cycl. Agroecosys 47 71 80 Google Scholar Alves, J R, Boddey, R M, Urquiaga, S S 1993 A rapid and sensitive flow injection technique for the analysis of ammonium in soil extracts Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal 24 277 284 Google Scholar Anderson, J M, Ingram, J S I 1993Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility: A Handbook of Methods CAB International Wallingford UK 221 Google Scholar Cadisch, G, Handayanto, E, Malama, C, Seyni, F, Giller, K E 1998 Nrecovery from legume prunings and priming effects are governed by the residue quality Plant Soil 205 125 134 Google Scholar Cadisch, G, Willigen, P, Suprayogo, D, Noordwijk, M, Rowe, E C 2004 Catching and competing for mobile nutrients in soils Noordwijk, M Cadisch, G Ong, C eds. Belowground Interactions in Tropical Agroecosystems with Multiple Plant Components. CAB International Wallingford UK 171 191 Google Scholar Cannell, M G R, Noordwijk, M, Ong, C K 1996 The central agroforestry hypothesis: The trees must acquire resources that the crop would not otherwise acquire Agrofor. Syst 33 1 5 Google Scholar Constantinides, M, Fownes, J H 1994 Nitrogen mineralization from leaves and litter of tropical plants: Relationship to nitrogen, lignin and soluble polyphenol concentrations Soil Biol. Biochem 26 49 55 CrossRef Google Scholar Gartner, T, Cardon, Z 2004 Decomposition dynamics in mixed-species leaf litter Oikos 104 230 246 Google Scholar Giller, K E, Cadisch, G 1995 Future benefits from biological nitrogen fixation: An ecological approach to agriculture Plant Soil 174 255 277 Google Scholar Gine, M F, Bergamin-Filho, H, Zagatto, E A G, Reis, B F 1980 Simultaneous determination of nitrate and nitrite by flow injection analysis Anal. Chim. Acta 114 191 197 Google Scholar Hamblin, A P 1985 The influence of soil structure on water movement, crop root growth, and water uptake Adv. Agron 38 95 155 Google Scholar Handayanto, E, Cadisch, G, Giller, K E 1994 Nitrogen release from prunings of legume hedgerow trees in relation to quality of the prunings and incubation method Plant Soil 160 237 248 Google Scholar Handayanto, E, Giller, K E, Cadisch, G 1997 Regulating Nrelease from legume tree prunings by mixing residues of different quality Soil Biol. Biochem 29 1417 1426 CrossRef Google Scholar Huxley, PA 1999Tropical Agroforestry Blackwell Science Oxford 371 Google Scholar Jenkinson, D S, Fox, R H, Rayner, J H 1985 Interactions between fertilizer nitrogen and soil nitrogen – The so-called ‘priming’ effect J. Soil Sci 36 425 444 Google Scholar Lehmann, J 2003 Subsoil root activity in tree-based cropping systems Plant Soil 255 319 331 Google Scholar Lehmann, J, Muraoka, T, Zech, W 2001 Root activity patterns in an Amazonian agroforest with fruit trees determined by 32P, 33P and 15N applications Agrofor. Syst 52 185 197 Google Scholar Lehmann, J, Gebauer, G, Zech, W 2002 Nitrogen cycling assessment in a hedgerow intercropping system using 15N enrichment Nutrient Cycl. Agroecos 62 1 9 Google Scholar
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