Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 53–66 | Cite as

The performance of selected leaf mulches in temperature reduction and moisture conservation in the upper soil stratum

  • Arnoud Budelman


This paper reports on the effect of the leaf mulches of Leucaena leucocephala, Gliricidia sepium and Flemingia macrophylla on moisture content and temperature in the first 5 cm of the soil. The mulches were applied at a standard quantity of 5,000 kg ha−1 DM.

In order to characterise a mulch material two parameters are distinguished; the initial impact (I i ) and the effective lifetime (T e ) of a mulch material. I is expressed in terms of percentage surplus moisture or degrees Celsius average temperature reduction. T quantifies the duration of the effect. Of the three mulch materials that of Flemingia macrophylla performs best in terms of moisture retention and lowering soil temperatures as well as in terms of longevity of the effect. Leucaena leucocephala mulch shows the smallest impact, over the shortest period.

Key words

leaf mulches soil temperature reduction soil moisture conservation Leucaena leucocephala Gliricidia sepium Flemingia macrophylla 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnoud Budelman
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre Néerlandais, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, Department of Tropical Crop ScienceAgricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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