Advertisement

Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 3–23 | Cite as

Ecological rationalities of the traditional homegarden system in the Chao Phraya Basin, Thailand

  • J. GajaseniEmail author
  • N. Gajaseni
Article

Abstract

Although the homegarden systems in the tropics are claimed to sustain basic community needs without environmental deterioration, the ecological rationalities behind the harmony between the humans, homegardens, and the environment are not well understood. Four study sites (Sukhothai, Srisatchanalai, Ayudhaya, and Nonthaburi) representing the four Thai eras in the Chao Phraya Basin were selected for studying these rationalities. The size and physical stature of the homegardens, their plant association and community features, physical environmental factors, nutrient and soil fertility parameters, and cultivation practices were studied. The major factor that determines species selection in homegardens is the utilization of the products, while the various practices within the homegardens are determined by such factors as the species, the system, and the environment. All homegardens had four vertical stratifications, with physical structures almost similar to that of dry dipterocarp forest, but with lower height for each layer, lower diversity of plants, and sparser crown layer. The analysis also shows a high possible utilization efficiency for space, light, water and nutrients in the soil in the homegardens. Shannon-Wiener's indices of species diversity of the homegardens were close to those of dipterocarp forest. The homegardens are in-situ reservoirs for biodiversity at genetic-, species-, and ecological levels. There was no complete harvesting from these homegardens. This practice ensured minimal nutrient export from the systems, while high amounts and diversity of litter biomass should contribute to high efficiency of nutrient cycling. Futhermore, phosphorus availability could be better in homegardens. The homegardens had more favorable microenvironment with lower soil and atmospheric temperature and higher relative humidity than outside. There has been no single incident of a pest outbreak at a threatening level.

microenvironments nutrient cycling species diversity Thai settlements 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ahmad AM and Abood F (1990) Selected forest trees with potential application in Malaysian agroforestry. BIOTROP Special Publication No. 39. BIOTROP, Indonesia. 77-89.Google Scholar
  2. Balasubramanian V and Egli A (1986) The role of agroforestry in the farming systems in Rwanda with special reference to the Bgesera-Mingogo region. Agrofor Syst 4: 489-534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boontawee B, Plengklai C and Khao-sa-ard A (1995) Monitoring and measuring forest biodiversity in Thailand. In: Boyle TJB and Boontawee B (eds) Measuring and monitoring biodiversity in tropical and temperate forests, pp 113-126. CIFRO, Bogor, IndonesiaGoogle Scholar
  4. Bray RH and Kurtz LT (1945) Determination of total organic and available form of phosphorus in soils. Soil Science 59: 39-45Google Scholar
  5. Dumrong, Prince (1907) The Pongsawadan. Department of Fine Arts. Ministry of Education. Bangkok, Thailand (in Thai)Google Scholar
  6. Falanruw MVC (1990) The food production system of the Yap Island. In: Landauer K and Brazil B (eds) Tropical homegardens, pp 94-104. United Nations University Press, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  7. Fernandes ECM and Nair PKR (1986) An evaluation of the structure and function of tropical homegardens. Agric Syst 21: 279-310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fox RL and Kamprath EJ (1970) Phosphate sorption isotherm for evaluating the phosphate requirement of soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 34: 902-906CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gajaseni J Matta-Machado R and Jordan CF (1995) Diversified agroforestry systems: buffer for biodiversity reserve and landbridge for fragmented habitats in the tropics. In: Szaro R and Johnston DW (eds) Biodiversity in managed landscapes, pp 506-513. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Gillespie AR Knudson DM and Geilfus F (1993) The structure of four homegardens in the Peten, Guatemala. Agrofor Syst 24: 157-170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gorman CF (1971) Subsistence patterns in Southeast Asia during the Late Pleistocene and Early Recent period. World Archeology 2: 217-240Google Scholar
  12. Jackson ML (1958) Soil chemical analysis. Prentice Hall, Inc., New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  13. Jensen M (1993) Productivity and nutrient cycling of a Javanese homegarden. Agrofor Syst 24: 187-201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jordan CF (1985) Nutrient cycling in tropical forest ecosystems. John Wiley and Sons, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  15. Jose D and Shanmugaratnam N (1993) Traditional homegardens of Kerala: a sustainable human ecosystem Agrofor Syst 24: 203-213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Karyono (1990) Homegarden in Java:their structure and function. iIn: Landauer K and Brazil M (eds) Tropical homegardens, pp 138-146. United Nations University Press, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  17. Krebs, CJ (1985) Ecology: the experimental analysis of distribution and abundance. Harper and Row, Publisher, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Landauer K and Brazil M (eds) (1990) Tropical homegardens. United Nations University Press, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  19. Makaraphirom P (1989) Check list of species for extension in agroforestry systems. Agroforestry Research 30, Royal Forestry Department, Bangkok, Thailand (in Thai)Google Scholar
  20. Marten GG (ed) (1986) Traditional agriculture in Southeast Asia. Westview Press, Boulder, ColoradoGoogle Scholar
  21. Montagnini FR Gonzales P Rheingans R and Sancho F (1994) Mixed tree plantations in the humid tropics: growth, litterfall and economics of experimental systems in Latin America, pp 125-135. Proceedings of IUFRO Symposium on Growth and Yield of Tropical Forests, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Fuchu, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  22. Ninez V (1987) Household gardens: theoretical and policy considerations. Agric Syst 23: 167-186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Page AL (ed) (1982) Methods of soil analysis. Soil Science Society of America, Inc.Google Scholar
  24. Pelzer KJ (1978) Swidden cultivation in Southeast Asia: historical, ecological, and economic perspectives. In: Kunstadter P Chapman EC and Sabhasri S (eds) Farmers in the forest, pp 271-285. University of Hawaii Press, HonoluluGoogle Scholar
  25. Richard PW (1952) The tropical rain forest. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  26. Sahunalu P Jumruenpruek M Phuriyakorn P Dhammmanond P Suwannaphirom W and Prachaiyo B (1979) Comparative structure of three forest types in Num Phrom basin, Chaiyaphum province. Forestry Research Report 63, Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University. Bangkok, Thailand (in Thai)Google Scholar
  27. Sahunalu P Dhammanond P and Phongumphai S (1993) A study on dipterocarp changes. Interim Report to the Research Counsil of Thailand. Research Council of Thailand. Bangkok, Thailand (in Thai)Google Scholar
  28. Torquebiau E (1992) Are tropical agroforestry homegarden sustainable? Agric Ecosystem Environ 41: 189-207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Whitmore TC (1971) Wild fruit trees and some trees of pharmacological potential in the rain forest of Ulu Kelantan. Malayan Nat J 24: 222-224Google Scholar
  30. Whittaker RH (1975) Communities and ecosystems, 2ed. Macmillan Publishing Co., New YorkGoogle Scholar
  31. Wojtkowski PA (1993) Toward an understanding of tropical homegardens. Agrofor Syst 24: 215-222CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand, E-mail

Personalised recommendations