Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 243–256 | Cite as

Effect of the application of the leaf mulch of Gliricidia sepium on early development, leaf nutrient contents and tuber yields of water yam (Dioscorea alata)

  • Arnoud Budelman


This paper describes the effects of the leaf mulch of Gliricidia sepium on the development and yield of Water Yam, Dioscorea alata. Using leaf mulch, the time taken for the yam setts to sprout can be shortened by approximately 20 percent.

Organic mulches contain considerable quantities of plant nutrients. Increasing amounts of mulch improved the leaf nutrient contents of the yam crop and resulted in significantly higher tuber yields. Over a tuber yield range up to c. 15 tons ha−1 each additional ton DM Gliricidia sepium mulch applied resulted in a yield increment of about 2 ton yam tubers. A nutrient supply — nutrient extraction balance is discussed, comparing mulch applied and yam tubers harvested.

Mulching as agricultural technique is a useful and affordable tool in adapting low external input cropping systems to local economic and environmental conditions.

Key words

Low External Input Agricultural Technology Gliricidia sepium leaf mulch Dioscorea alata yam sett germination yam leaf nutrient content yam tuber yields humid Ivory Coast 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Budelman, A (1988) The performance of the leaf mulches of Leucaena leucocephala, Flemingia macrophylla and Gliricidia sepium in weed control. Agroforestry Systems 6: 137–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Budelman, A (1988) Dry leaf matter productivity of three selected perennial leguminous species in humid tropical Ivory Coast. Agroforestry Systems 7: 47–62.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Budelman, A (1988) The decomposition of the leaf mulches of Leucaena leucocephala. Gliricidia sepium and Flemingia macrophylla under humid tropical conditions. Agroforestry Systems 7: 33–45.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Budelman A (in press) Nutrient composition of the leaf biomass of three selected woody leguminous species. Agroforestry Systems.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Budelman A (in press) The performance of selected leaf mulches in soil temperature reduction and soil humidity conservation. Agroforestry Systems.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Degras L (1986) L'igname. Plante à tubercule tropicale. Editions GP Maisonneuve & Larose. pp 408.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ferguson, TU, Haynes, PH and Spence, JA (1980) Distribution of dry matter and mineral nutrients in tubers of two cultivars of Dioscorea alata L. Tropical Agriculture (Trinidad) 57 (1): 61–67.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Harrison-Murray, RS and Lal, R (1979) High soil temperature and the response of maize to mulching in the lowland humid tropics. In: Lal, R and Greenland, DJ (Ed.) Soil physical properties and crop production in the tropics. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, UK. p. 285–304.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Irving, H (1956) Fertilizer experiments in Eastern Nigeria: 1947–1951. Tropical Agriculture (Trinidad) 33 (1): 67–78.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jones, PA, Robinson, JBD and Wallis, JAN (1960) Fertilizers, manure, and mulch in Kenya coffee growing. Empire Journal of Experimental Agriculture 28 (112): 336–352.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kang, BT, Sipkens, L, Wilson, GF, and Nangju, D (1982) Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit) prunings as nitrogen source for maize (Zea mays L.) Fertilizer Research (The Netherlands) 2 (4): 279–287.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kang, BT, Wilson, GF and Sipkens, L (1981) Alley cropping maize (Zea mays L.) and Leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala Lam.) in Southern Nigeria. Plant & Soil (The Netherlands) 63 (2): 165–179.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lal, R (1974) Effects of constant and fluctuating soil temperature on growth, development and nutrient uptake of maize seedlings. Plant and Soil (The Netherlands) 40: 589–606.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lal R and Hahn SK (1973) Effect of method of seedbed preparation, mulching and time planting on yam in Western Nigeria. Paper presented at the 3rd International Symposium on Tropical Root Crops, Ibadan, Nigeria. p. 293–306.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Maduakor, HO, Lal, R and Opara-nadi, OA (1984) Effects of methods of seedbed preparation and mulching on the growth and yield of White Yam (Discorea rotundata) on an Ultisol in South-East Nigeria. Field Crops Research 9: 119–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Obigbesan, GO and Agboola, AA (1978) Uptake and distribution of nutrients by yam. Experimental Agriculture 14: 349–355.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Onwueme, IC (1978) The tropical tuber crops, Yams, Cassava, Sweet Potato and Cocoyams. John Wiley & Sons, New York. p 3–106.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Read, MD, Kang, BT and Wilson, GF (1985) Use of Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit leaves as a nitrogen source for crop production. Fertilizer Research (The Netherlands) 8 (2): 107–117.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Roose, E and Chéroux, M (1966) Les sols du bassin sédimentaire de Côte d'Ivoire. Cahier ORSTOM-Série Pédologie 4 (2): 51–92.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Salter, PJ and Williams, JB (1965) The influence of texture on the moisture characteristics of soils. II. Available water capacity and moisture release characteristics. Journal of Soil Science 16 (2): 310–317.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Sanchez, PA and Salinas, JG (1981) Low input technology for managing Oxisols and Ultisols in tropical America. Advances in Agronomy 34: 279–406.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Snedecor GW and Cochran WG (1973) Statistical methods (6th ed.) Iowa State University Press. pp 593.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnoud Budelman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Tropical Crop ScienceAgricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations