Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 165–176 | Cite as

Fallow enrichment of a traditional slash/mulch system in southern Costa Rica: comparisons of biomass production and crop yield

  • J. S. Kettler


The slash and mulch system of ‘frijol tapado’ or ‘covered bean’ is a pre-hispanic system of bean production found throughout much of Central America. However, land use pressures have forced farmers to shorten the traditional fallow period, thus resulting in decreasing productivity. A potential solution is to enrich the fallow by using leguminous nitrogen-fixing trees. The enriched fallow systems evaluated in this study include both single and mixed species treatments: 1) Erythrina poeppigiana; 2) Calliandra colothrysus; 3) Gliricidia sepium; 4) Inga edulis; 5) Inga edulis and Erythrina poeppigiana; 6) Inga edulis and Calliandra calothrysus; and 7) Inga edulis and Gliricidia sepium. Biomass production of the fallow vegetation is shown to be of greater quality and quantity in all fallow enrichment treatments. However, bean yields did not show a significant response to the fallow enrichment treatments.

Key words

beans Calliandra Erythrina Gliricidia Inga managed fallow 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. Kettler
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of EcologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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