Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 81–89 | Cite as

Intercropping teak with Leucaena increases tree growth and modifies soil characteristics

  • B. M. Kumar
  • S. S. Kumar
  • R. F. Fisher


Effects of intercropping Leucaena on early teak growth and soil properties in a simulated taungua system were evaluated in a humid tropical region of central Kerala in peninsular India. The experimental variables included five combinations of teak and Leucaena (100:0, 67:33, 50:50, 33:67, and 0:100). Intercropping Leucaena promoted height and diameter growth of teak. Teak growth increased with increasing relative proportion of Leucaena in the mixture. Forty-four months after planting, teak in the 33% teak-67% Leucaena mixture were 45% taller and 71% larger in diameter at breast height than those in pure stands. Implicit in this growth stimulation of teak by intercropped Leucaena is its nitrogen fixing ability and potential as a soil improver. Soil analysis of the experimental plots provided corroborative evidence in this respect. Total nitrogen increased with increasing relative proportion of Leucaena in the mixture. Available P content of the soil increased as the proportion of Leucaena increased to 50% but declined thereafter.

Leucaena leucocephala N2 fixation peninsular India soil fertility improvement Tectona grandis 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. M. Kumar
    • 1
  • S. S. Kumar
    • 1
  • R. F. Fisher
    • 2
  1. 1.College of ForestryKerala Agricultural UniversityVellanikkara, Thrissur, KeralaIndia
  2. 2.Department of Forest SciencesTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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