Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 85, Issue 3, pp 477–488 | Cite as

Testing the shade tolerance of selected crops under Parkia biglobosa (Jacq.) Benth. in an agroforestry parkland in Burkina Faso, West Africa

  • Mariève PouliotEmail author
  • Jules Bayala
  • Anders Ræbild


In Western Africa, interactions between trees and agricultural crops are a key element in determining parkland management in an agricultural environment that is rapidly changing. Eggplant (Solanum melongena), chilli pepper (Capsicum annuum), taro (Colocasia esculenta) and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) were tested for their shade tolerance under Parkia biglobosa trees in south-central Burkina Faso using a split-plot design. Soil characteristics, chlorophyll fluorescence and crop growth and yield were measured to quantify the effect of P. biglobosa on the crops and their environment. The experiment ran during 2 years. P. biglobosa suppressed the vegetative growth and yield of pearl millet in both years. Eggplant and chilli pepper were severely injured by the rains and produced fruits only during the first year. Eggplant yields were suppressed by trees to between one third and one tenth of the yield in the control plots. However, chilli pepper yields increased by up to 150% when grown under the tree canopy compared to the control. In both years, the vegetative growth and yield of taro was higher when grown in the shade than outside the tree canopy.


Capsicum annuum Colocasia esculenta Solanum melongena Tree-crop-interactions Tree-crop-soil interactions 



This study was funded by the European Community’s sixth framework program through the “Sahelian Fruit Trees” project (contract no. INCO-DEV 015465). We wish to thank the farmers of Nobéré for their permission and participation in the field study. We also wish to thank Yonli Hermann and Guibré K. Roger for field assistance. We are grateful for our anonymous reviewers’ helpful criticism and suggestions to an early version of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariève Pouliot
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jules Bayala
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anders Ræbild
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Forest, Landscape and PlanningUniversity of CopenhagenFrederiksberg CDenmark
  2. 2.Institut National de Recherche Agronomique et de L’EnvironnementOuagadougouBurkina Faso
  3. 3.World Agroforestry Centre, West Africa and Centre Regional OfficeBamakoMali

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