Effect of soil fertility on early growth of Leucaena and Gliricidia in alley farms
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Young leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala (Lam) de Wit) and gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium (Jacq) Steud) alley-cropped with food crops on farmers' fields in southwestern Nigeria showed marked variability in growth and foliage coloration. A field study was undertaken to determine whether variability in soil fertility was responsible for the differential growth of the two tree species. Plant height of leucaena and gliricidia at 6 and 9 months after planting (MAP) were significantly correlated with soil organic C and total N. Dry matter yield at 12 MAP was also significantly correlated with plant height, soil organic C and total N for leucaena but not for gliricidia. Soil and plant N concentrations were significantly higher in farms with normal than those with chlorotic plants.
Key wordsLeucaena leucocephala Gliricidia sepium soil carbon and nitrogen plant height dry matter
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