Plant and Soil

, Volume 67, Issue 1–3, pp 105–117 | Cite as

Nitrogen distribution in several traditional agro-ecosystems in the humid tropical lowlands of south-eastern Mexico

  • S. R. Gliessman


Nitrogen distribution was examined in five local agro-ecosystems typical of the lowlands of tropical south-eastern Mexico: monoculture corn, corn/bean polyculture, manioc (yuca, cassava), taro (malanga), and upland rice. Total biomass and nitrogen content were determined monthly for standing live, standing dead, and litter biomass of both crop and non-crop components of each system. The crop component was further divided into roots, crown, stem, leaves, fruits, and flowers. Soil nitrogen determinations were also made monthly. Results demonstrated that nitrogen maintenance in the system is highly dependent on the proportion of the net biomass produced which is returned to the system. Leguminous and weed components may reduce net nitrogen losses from these systems.

Key words

Beans Corn Crop residues Manioc Mexico N distribution Rice Taro Traditional agriculture 

Distribución del nitrógeno en varios agroecosistemas tradicionales en los trópicos humedós bajos en el sureste Mexicano


Se examinó la distribución de nitrógeno en cinco agroecosistemas locales típicos de la tierra baja del sureste tropical de México: monocultivo de maiz, policultivo maiz/frijol, yuca, malanga y arroz de temporal.

Se determinó mensualmente la biomasa y el contenido de nitrógeno para la biomasa viva, muerta, y hojarasca de los componentes cultivo y no-cultivo en cada sistema. Se dividió el componente cultivo entre raíces, corona, tallo, hojas, frutos y flores para análisis de nitrógeno.

Mensualmente se determinó el nivel de nitrógeno en el suelo también. Los resultados demostraron que el mantenimiento de nitrógeno en cada sistema es altamente dependiente de la proporción de la biomasa neta producida que se regresa al sistema. Componentes leguminosa y maleza podrían reducir pérdidas netas de nitrógeno en estos agroecosistemas.


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk Publishers 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. R. Gliessman
    • 1
  1. 1.Depto. de EcologíaColegio Superior de Agricultura TropicalCárdenasMéxico

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