Agricultural Research

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 378–388 | Cite as

Quantitative Separation of Nitrogen and Non-Nitrogen Rotation Benefits for Maize Following Velvet Bean Under Selected Soil Management Practices

  • I. M. Uzoh
  • S. E. ObalumEmail author
  • C. A. Igwe
  • R. C. Abaidoo
Full-Length Research Article


It is increasingly known that factors other than legume-fixed nitrogen contribute to rotation benefit (yield advantage of legume/cereal over cereal/cereal). The contributions of nitrogen and such other factors were quantified to guide soil fertility management in legume/cereal systems. Under greenhouse conditions, the effects of returning first crop’s residue to the soil, crop sequence (velvet/maize, maize/maize) and nitrogen-fertilizer level on yield of second maize were used to separate rotation benefits into nitrogen and non-nitrogen factors, while the corresponding effects of crop sequence, mycorrhizal inoculation and phosphorus-targeted fertilization in a parallel experiment were used to disaggregate the non-nitrogen effects. Crop residue and velvet/maize had positive effects on soil nitrogen and maize yield. Nitrogen fertilizer had optimal effects at 60 kg ha−1, while phosphorus enhanced maize yields the most when no essential nutrient was limiting. Rotation benefit was lower without (13.59%) than with (33.27%) residue. Non-nitrogen rotation benefit was 37.5%. Relative contributions of nitrogen, phosphorus, other nutrients, mycorrhiza and not-considered factors were, respectively, 34, 9, 6, 21 and 30% without residue and 68, 4, 3, 10 and 15% with residue. Crop residue management has, therefore, a strong underlying influence on legume-to-cereal rotation benefit and the relative contribution of its components.


Legume/cereal crop rotation Legume-fixed soil nitrogen Monocropping system Non-nitrogen rotation benefits Soil available phosphorus 



This work was supported by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria, through a doctoral research fellowship awarded to the first author, I. M. Uzoh.


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Copyright information

© NAAS (National Academy of Agricultural Sciences) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. M. Uzoh
    • 1
  • S. E. Obalum
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. A. Igwe
    • 1
  • R. C. Abaidoo
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Soil Science, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria
  2. 2.International Institute of Tropical AgricultureIbadanNigeria

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