Nitrogen use efficiency of monoculture and hedgerow intercropping in the humid tropics
Article Received: 05 January 2004 Accepted: 26 April 2004 Abstract
The design of productive and efficient intercropping systems depends on achieving complementarity between component species’ resource capture niches. Spatiotemporal patterns of capture and use of pruning and urea nitrogen (N) by trees and intercrops were elucidated by isotopic tracing, and consequences for nitrogen use efficiency were examined. During the first cropping season after applying urea−
15N, maize accounted for most of the plant 15N recovery in Peltophorum dasyrrachis (33.5%) and Gliricidia sepium (22.3%) hedgerow intercropping systems. Maize yield was greatest in monoculture, and maize in monoculture also recovered a greater proportion of urea 15N (42%) than intercropped maize. Nitrogen recovery during active crop growth will not be increased by hedgerow intercropping if hedgerows adversely affect crop growth through competition for other resources. However, hedgerows recovered substantial amounts of 15N during both cropping cycles (e.g. a total of 13–22%), showing evidence of spatio-temporal complementarity with crops in the spatial distribution of roots and the temporal distribution of Nuptake. The degree of complementarity was species-specific, showing the importance of selecting appropriate trees for simultaneous agroforestry. After the first cropping season 17–34% of 15N applied was unaccounted for in the plant-soil system. Urea and prunings N were recovered by hedgerows in similar amounts. By the end of the second (groundnut) cropping cycle, total plant 15N recovery was similar in all cropping systems. Less N was taken up by the maize crop from applications of labelled prunings (5–7%) than from labelled urea (22–34%), but the second crop recovered similar amounts from these two sources, implying that prunings N is more persistent than urea N. More 15N was recovered by the downslope hedgerow than the upslope hedgerow, demonstrating the interception of laterally flowing N by hedgerows. Keywords agroforestry competition complementarity isotope subsoil uptake References Akinnifesi, F K, Kang, B T, Sanginga, N, Tijani-Eniola, H 1997 Nitrogen use efficiency and Ncompetition between Leucaena hedgerows and maize in an alley cropping system Nutr. Cycl. Agroecosys 47 71 80 Google Scholar Alves, J R, Boddey, R M, Urquiaga, S S 1993 A rapid and sensitive flow injection technique for the analysis of ammonium in soil extracts Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal 24 277 284 Google Scholar Anderson, J M, Ingram, J S I 1993Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility: A Handbook of Methods CAB International Wallingford UK 221 Google Scholar Cadisch, G, Handayanto, E, Malama, C, Seyni, F, Giller, K E 1998 Nrecovery from legume prunings and priming effects are governed by the residue quality Plant Soil 205 125 134 Google Scholar Cadisch, G, Willigen, P, Suprayogo, D, Noordwijk, M, Rowe, E C 2004 Catching and competing for mobile nutrients in soils Noordwijk, M Cadisch, G Ong, C eds. Belowground Interactions in Tropical Agroecosystems with Multiple Plant Components. CAB International Wallingford UK 171 191 Google Scholar Cannell, M G R, Noordwijk, M, Ong, C K 1996 The central agroforestry hypothesis: The trees must acquire resources that the crop would not otherwise acquire Agrofor. Syst 33 1 5 Google Scholar Constantinides, M, Fownes, J H 1994 Nitrogen mineralization from leaves and litter of tropical plants: Relationship to nitrogen, lignin and soluble polyphenol concentrations Soil Biol. Biochem 26 49 55 CrossRef Google Scholar Gartner, T, Cardon, Z 2004 Decomposition dynamics in mixed-species leaf litter Oikos 104 230 246 Google Scholar Giller, K E, Cadisch, G 1995 Future benefits from biological nitrogen fixation: An ecological approach to agriculture Plant Soil 174 255 277 Google Scholar Gine, M F, Bergamin-Filho, H, Zagatto, E A G, Reis, B F 1980 Simultaneous determination of nitrate and nitrite by flow injection analysis Anal. Chim. Acta 114 191 197 Google Scholar Hamblin, A P 1985 The influence of soil structure on water movement, crop root growth, and water uptake Adv. Agron 38 95 155 Google Scholar Handayanto, E, Cadisch, G, Giller, K E 1994 Nitrogen release from prunings of legume hedgerow trees in relation to quality of the prunings and incubation method Plant Soil 160 237 248 Google Scholar Handayanto, E, Giller, K E, Cadisch, G 1997 Regulating Nrelease from legume tree prunings by mixing residues of different quality Soil Biol. Biochem 29 1417 1426 CrossRef Google Scholar Huxley, PA 1999Tropical Agroforestry Blackwell Science Oxford 371 Google Scholar Jenkinson, D S, Fox, R H, Rayner, J H 1985 Interactions between fertilizer nitrogen and soil nitrogen – The so-called ‘priming’ effect J. Soil Sci 36 425 444 Google Scholar Lehmann, J 2003 Subsoil root activity in tree-based cropping systems Plant Soil 255 319 331 Google Scholar Lehmann, J, Muraoka, T, Zech, W 2001 Root activity patterns in an Amazonian agroforest with fruit trees determined by 32P, 33P and 15N applications Agrofor. Syst 52 185 197 Google Scholar Lehmann, J, Gebauer, G, Zech, W 2002 Nitrogen cycling assessment in a hedgerow intercropping system using 15N enrichment Nutrient Cycl. Agroecos 62 1 9 Google Scholar
Oorts K, Merckx R, VanLauwe B, Sanginga N and Diels J 2002. Dynamics of Charge Bearing Soil Organic Matter Fractions in Highly Weathered Soils. Proceedings of the 17th World Congress of Soil Science, CD-ROM. International Soil Science Society, Bangkok, Thailand.
Google Scholar Payne, R W, Lane, P W, Ainsley, A E, Bicknell, K E, Digby, P G N, Harding, S A, Leech, P K, Simpson, H R, Todd, A D, Verrier, P J, White, R P 1987Genstat5 Reference Manual Clarendon Press Oxford 749 Google Scholar
Rao KV and Shinde JE 1990. Uptake and balance of
N labelled green manures and urea in tropical wetland rice culture.
Stable Isotopes in Plant Nutrition, Soil Fertility and Environmental Studies. Ed. International Atomic Energy Agency. pp.317–362. IAEA, Vienna, Austria.
Google Scholar Rowe, E C, Cadisch, G 2002 Implications of heterogeneity on procedures for estimating plant 15N recovery in hedgerow intercrop systems Agrofor. Syst 54 61 70 CrossRef Google Scholar Rowe, E C, Hairiah, K, Giller, K E, Noordwijk, M, Cadisch, G 1999 Testing the safety-net role of hedgerow tree roots by 15N placement at different soil depths Agrofor. Syst 43 81 93 Google Scholar Rowe, E C, Noordwijk, M, Suprayogo, D, Hairiah, K, Giller, K E, Cadisch, G 2001 Root distributions partially explain 15N uptake patterns in Gliricidia and Peltophorum hedgerow intercropping systems Plant Soil 235 167 179 Google Scholar Sanchez, P A 1976Properties and Management of Soils in the Tropics Wiley New York 618 Google Scholar Suprayogo, D, Noordwijk, M, Hairiah, K, Cadisch, G 2002 The inherent ‘safety-net’ of Ultisols: measuring and modelling retarded leaching of mineral nitrogen Eur. J. Soil Sci 53 185 194 Google Scholar Tennant, D 1975 A test of modified line intersect method for determining root length J. Ecol 63 995 1001 Google Scholar Heide, J, Setijono, S, Syekhfani, M S, Flach, E N, Hairiah, K, Ismunandar, S, Sitompul, S M, Noordwijk, M 1992 Can low external input cropping systems on acid upland soils in the humid tropics be sustainable? Backgrounds of the UniBraw/IB Nitrogen management project in Bunga Mayang (Sunkai Selatan, Kotabumi, S Sumatera, Indonesia) Agrivita 15 1 10 Google Scholar Noordwijk, M, Cadisch, G 2002 Access and excess problems in plant nutrition Plant Soil 247 25 39 Google Scholar Noordwijk, M, Lawson, G, Soumare, A, Groot, J J R, Hairiah, K 1996 Root distribution of trees and crops: Competition and/or complementarity Ong, C K Huxley, P A eds. Tree-crop Interactions – A Physiological Approach CABI Wallingford, Oxon, UK 319 364 Google Scholar
van Noordwijk M, Sitompul SM, Hairiah K, Listyarini E and Syekhfani MS 1995 Nitrogen supply from rotationally or spatially zoned inclusion of Leguminosae for sustainable maize production on an acid soil in Indonesia.
Plant-soil Interactions at Low pH. Ed. RA Date. pp.779–784. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Google Scholar VanLauwe, B, Sanginga, N, Merckx, R 1998 Recovery of Leucaena and Dactyladenia residue nitrogen-15 in alley cropping systems Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J 62 454 460 Google Scholar Wahid, P A, Suresh, P R, George, S S 2004 Absorption and partitioning of applied 15N in a black pepper + erythrina system in Kerala, India Agrofor. Syst 60 143 147 Google Scholar Young, A 1986 The effects of trees on soils Prinsley, R T Swift, M J eds. Amelioration of Soil by Trees Commonwealth Science Council London 10 19 Google Scholar Xu, Z H, Myers, R J K, Saffigna, P G, Chapman, A L 1993 Nitrogen fertilizer in Leucaena alley cropping: II. Residual value of nitrogen fertilizer and Leucaena residues Fert. Res 34 1 8 Google Scholar