Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 33–45 | Cite as

The decomposition of the leaf mulches ofLeucaena leucocephala Gliricidia sepium andFlemingia macrophylla under humid tropical conditions

  • Arnoud Budelman


The decomposition of the leaf mulches ofLeucaena leecocephala, Gliricidia sepium andFlemingia macrophylla has been studied under field conditions. Mulch samples were analysed over a period of 70 days on carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus,potassium, calcium and magnesium left. Loss rates for the elements show similar patterns for the three mulches. Losses of mulch material are caused by decomposition as well as removal by soil-dwelling fauna (insects, arthropods, etc.) feeding on the mulch.

Based on the data decomposition-and nutrient release functions are developed for the three mulches. These functions are useful in alley-cropping system analysis and models.


Half-life value of the mulch

Persistence relative toLeucaena mulch

in vitro digestivility relative toLeucaena

Leucaena leucocephala

31 days



Gliricidia sepium




Flemingia macrophylla




Key words

Leaf mulches decomposition Leucaena leucocephala Gliricidia sepium Flemingia macrophylla nutrient release 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnoud Budelman
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre Néerlandais, Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Department of Tropical Crop ScienceAgricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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