Effect of spacing on growth and biomass production of Gliricidia sepium (jacq) walp in an alley cropping system in Sierra Leone
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This paper describes a study into the influences of spacing on the early performance and biomass production of Gliricidia sepium in an alley cropping system in southern Sierra Leone. Four between-row spacings of 2, 4, 6 and 8 m were combined with three within-row spacings (0.25, 0.50 and 1.00m) in a split plot experimental design.
Survival, tree height and leaf nitrogen content were not affected by between- or within-row spacings. For the other parameters measured, namely root-collar diameter, branch production, total biomass and nitrogen yields per hectare, it was found that for equivalent tree densities, the lower the rectangularity of planting, the better the performance of the individual trees, and consequently the greater the yields per hectare.
Total biomass production per unit area was, expectedly, greatest where the spacings between hedgerows were closest, while production per plant decreased with closer within-row spacings. The total fresh and dry weights of leaves and stems, as well as leaf nitrogen yields per unit area were strongly influenced by between-row spacing and less so by within-row spacing.
Key wordsGliricidia sepium spacing biomass agroforestry
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