Productivity, soil fertility and soil erosion under cassava based agroforestry systems
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The interactions between component species in three-tier agroforestry systems were studied on sloping laterite soils of South India for three years. The wood yield of Eucalyptus was found to increase in association with the intercrops, with cassava + groundnut resulting in the best growth of Eucalyptus. Green forage yield of Leucaena was adversely affected by cassava but was improved by inclusion of a short duration seasonal crop. Both spread and mean length of lateral roots of Eucalyptus and Leucaena were restricted by cassava intercropping. Both the tree species were found to reduce the tuber yield of cassava and also the pod yield of both the seasonal crops when grown in association. Monocropping with cassava was found to improve the fertility and an increase in phosphorus and potassium contents of the soil was observed when grown in association with Eucalyptus and Leucaena. Soil fertility fell considerably after three years of cultivation of the tree species. The nutrient uptake by cassava was low when grown in association with perennial species. Both run off and soil loss were effectively reduced when cassava was grown in staggered mounds under Eucalyptus and Leucaena.
Key wordsCassava soil fertility soil erosion agroforestry multiple cropping
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