Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 201–221 | Cite as

Tithonia diversifolia as a green manure for soil fertility improvement in western Kenya: A review

  • B. Jama
  • C. A. Palm
  • R. J. Buresh
  • A. Niang
  • C. Gachengo
  • G. Nziguheba
  • B. Amadalo
Article

Abstract

Tithonia diversifolia, a shrub in the family Asteraceae, is widely distributed along farm boundaries in the humid and subhumid tropics of Africa. Green biomass of tithonia has been recognized as an effective source of nutrients for lowland rice (Oryza sativa) in Asia and more recently for maize (Zea mays) and vegetables in eastern and southern Africa. This paper reviews the potential of tithonia green biomass for soil fertility improvement based on recent research in western Kenya. Green leaf biomass of tithonia is high in nutrients, averaging about 3.5% N, 0.37% P and 4.1% K on a dry matter basis. Boundary hedges of sole tithonia can produce about 1 kg biomass (tender stems + leaves) m−1 yr−1 on a dry weight basis. Tithonia biomass decomposes rapidly after application to soil, and incorporated biomass can be an effective source of N, P and K for crops. In some cases, maize yields were even higher with incorporation of tithonia biomass than with commercial mineral fertilizer at equivalent rates of N, P and K. In addition to providing nutrients, tithonia incorporated at 5 t dry matter ha−1 can reduce P sorption and increase soil microbial biomass. Because of high labor requirements for cutting and carrying the biomass to fields, the use of tithonia biomass as a nutrient source is more profitable with high-value crops such as vegetables than with relatively low-valued maize. The transfer of tithonia biomass to fields constitutes the redistribution of nutrients within the landscape rather than a net input of nutrients. External inputs of nutrients would eventually be required to sustain production of tithonia when biomass is continually cut and transferred to agricultural land.

biomass transfer integrated nutrient management nitrogen nutrient cycling phosphorus 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adoyo F, Mukalama JB and Enyola M (1997) Using tithonia concoctions for termite control in Busia District, Kenya. ILEIA Newsletter 13: 24–25Google Scholar
  2. Anette M (1996) Evaluation of indigenous fodder trees and shrubs in different agro-ecological zones of western Kenya. Diplomarbeit. Institut für Pflanzenbau und Pflanzenzüchtung. Universität für Bodenkultur, Vienna, AustriaGoogle Scholar
  3. Ayeni AO, Lordbanjou DT and Majek BA (1997) Tithonia diversifolia (Mexican sunflower) in south-western Nigeria: occurrence and growth habit. Weed Research (Oxford) 37: 443–449CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baruah NC, Sarma JC, Barua NC, Sarma S and Sharma RP (1994) Germination and growth inhibitory sesquiterpene lactones and a flavone from Tithonia diversifolia. Phytochemistry 36: 29–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blair GJ and Boland OW (1978) The release of P from plant material added to soil. Australian Journal of Soil Research 16: 101–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Buresh RJ and Niang AI (1997) Tithonia diversifolia as a green manure: Awareness, expectations and realties. Agroforestry Forum 8(3): 29–31Google Scholar
  7. Buresh RJ and Tian G (1997) Soil improvmeent by trees in sub-Saharan Arica. Agroforestry Systems 38: 51–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Carino MA and Rejestes BM (1982) Isolation and characterization of the insecticidal fraction from leaf extracts of Tithonia diversifolia. Annals of Tropical Research 4: 1–11Google Scholar
  9. Drechsel P and Reck B (1998) Composted shrub-prunings and other organic manures for smallholder farming systems in southern Rwanda. Agroforestry Systems 39: 1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dutta P, Chaudhuri RP and Sharma RP (1993) Insect feeding deterrents from Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl) Gray. Journal of Enviornmental Biology 14: 27–33Google Scholar
  11. Gachengo CN (1996) Phosphorus release and availability on addition of organic materials to phosphorus fixing soils. MSc thesis. Moi University, Eldoret, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  12. Gachengo CN, Palm CA, Jama B and Othieno C (1999) Tithonia and senna green manures and inorganic fertiliers as phosphorus sources for maize in western Kenya. Agroforestry Sytems 44: 21–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gacheru E, Rao MR, Jama BA and Niang AI (1999) The potential of agroforestry to control striga and increase maize yield in sub-Saharan Africa. Proceedings of Sixth Regional Maize Conference for Eastern and Southern Africa, 21–25 September 1998 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, pp 180–184. CIMMYT, Harare, ZimbabweGoogle Scholar
  14. Ganunga R, Yerokun O and Kumwenda JDT (1998) Tithonia diversifolia: an organic source of nitrogen and phosphorus for maize in Malawi. In: Waddington SR et al.(eds) Soil Fertility Research for Maize-Based Farming Systems in Malawi and Zimbabwe, pp 191–194. Soil Fert Net and CIMMYT-Zimbabwe, Harare, ZimbabweGoogle Scholar
  15. Giller KE and Cadisch G (1995) Future benefits from biological nitrogen fixation: an ecological approach to agriculture. Plant and Soil 174: 255–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hartemink AE, Buresh RJ, Jama B and Janssen BH (1996) Soil nitrate and water dynamics in sesbania fallows, weed fallows, and maize. Soil Science Society of America Journal 60: 568–574Google Scholar
  17. ICRAF (1997) Annual report for 1996. International Centre for Research in Agroforestry. Nairobi, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  18. ICRAF (1998) Annual report for 1997. International Centre for Research in Agroforestry. Nairobi, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  19. Iyamuremye F and Dick RP (1996) Organic amendments and phosphorus sorption by soils. Advances in Agronomy 56: 139–185Google Scholar
  20. Jama B, Palm CA and Buresh RJ (1999) Using tithonia and fertilizers on maize in western Kenya. Maseno Agroforestry Research Centre Newsletter, ICRAF, Nairobi, Kenya. Miti ni Maendeleo 6: 3–4Google Scholar
  21. Jiri O and Waddington SR (1998) Leaf prunings from two species of tithonia raise maize grain yield in Zimbabwe, but take a lot of labor! Newsletter of Soil Fert Net, Harare, Zimbabwe. Target 16: 4–5Google Scholar
  22. King'ara G (1998) Establishment methods of Tithonia diversifolia from seeds and cuttings. Report for diploma certificate. Rift Valley Technical Training Institute. Eldoret, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  23. Kuo YH and Chen CH (1997) Diversifolol, a novel rearranged eduesmane sesquiterpene from the leaves of Tithonia diversifolia. Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 45: 1223–1224Google Scholar
  24. Lauriks R, De Wulf R, Carter SE and Niang A (1999) A methodology for the description of border hedges and the analysis of variables influencing their distribution: a case study in western Kenya. Agroforestry Systems 44: 69–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lijzenga, M (1998) Maize response to NPK in relation to soil fertility indices in western Kenya. MSc thesis. Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  26. Lin CC, Lin ML and Lin JM (1993) The antiinflammatory and liver protective effect of Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) Gray and Dicliptera chinensis Juss. extracts in rats. Phytotherapy Research 7: 305–309Google Scholar
  27. Mafongoya PL and Nair PKR (1997) Multipurpose tree prunings as a source of nitrogen to maize under semiarid conditions in Zimbabwe. 1. Nitrogen recovery in relation to pruning quality and method of application. Agroforestry Systems 35: 31–46Google Scholar
  28. Mumera LM and Below FE (1993) Role of nitrogen in resistance to striga parasitism of maize. Crop Science 33: 758–763Google Scholar
  29. Mutuo PK (2000) Soil phosphorus pools following phosphorus fertilization and their relationship to maize yield in western Kenya. MSc thesis. Moi University, Eldoret, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  30. Nagarajah S and Nizar BM (1982) Wild sunflower as a green manure for rice in the mid-country west zone. Tropical Agriculturalist 138: 69–78Google Scholar
  31. Ng'inja JO, Niang A, Palm C and Lauriks P (1998) Traditional hedges in western Kenya: typology, composition, distribution, uses, productivity and tenure. Pilot Project Report No. 8. Regional Agroforestry Research Centre, Maseno, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  32. Niang A, Amadalo B, Gathumbi S and Obonyo CO (1996) Maize yield response to green manure application from selected shrubs and tree species in western Kenya: a preliminary assessment. In: Mugah JO(ed) Proceedings of the First Kenya Agroforestry Conference on People and Institutional Participation in Agroforestry for Sustainable Development, pp 350–358. Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), Muguga, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  33. Niang A, De Wolf J, Hansen T, Nyasimi M, Rommelse R and Mwendwa K (1998) Soil fertility replenishment and recapitalization project in western Kenya. Progress report, February 1997–July 1998. Pilot Project Report No. 8. Regional Agroforestry Research Centre, Maseno, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  34. Nziguheba G, Palm CA, Buresh RJ and Smithson PC (1998) Soil phosphorus fractions and absorption as affected by organic and inorganic sources. Plant and Soil 198: 159–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Odunsi AA, Farinu GO and Akinola JO (1996) Influence of dietary wild sunflow (Tithonia diversifolia Hemsl. A. Gray) leaf meal on layers performance and egg quality. Nigerian Journal of Animal Production 23: 28–32Google Scholar
  36. Otuma P, Burudi C, Khabeleli A, Wasia E, Shikanga M, Mulogoli C and Carter SE (1998) Participatory research on soil fertility management in Kabras, western Kenya: Report of activities, 1996–1997. Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Programme (TSBF), Nairobi, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  37. Palm CA, Mukalama J, Agunda J, Nekesa P and Ajanga S (1996) Farm hedge survey: composition, management, use and potential for soil fertility management. Summary report for African Highlands Initiative. Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Programme (TSBF), Nairobi, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  38. Palm CA, Myers RJK and Nandwa SM (1997) Organic-inorganic nutrient interactions in soil fertility replenishment. In: Buresh RJ, Sanchez PA and Calhoun F (eds) Replenishing Soil Fertility in Africa. Soil Science Society of America Special Publication 51, pp 193–218. Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI, USAGoogle Scholar
  39. Palm CA and Rowland AP (1997) Chemical characterization of plant quality for decompsotion. In: Cadisch G and Giller KE(eds) Driven by Nature: Plant Litter Quality and Decomposition, pp 379–392. CAB International, Wallingford, UKGoogle Scholar
  40. Roothaert R, Arimi HK and Kamau E (1997) Indigenous fodder species in Kenya – assessing the wealth. Agroforestry Today 9(3): 17–22Google Scholar
  41. Roothaert R and Paterson RT (1997) Recent work on the production and utilization of tree fooder in East Africa. Animal Feed Science and Technology 69: 39–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sanchez PA, Shepherd KD, Soule MJ, Place FM, Buresh RJ, Izac AM, Mokwunye AU, Kwesiga FR, Ndiritu CN and Woomer PL (1997) Soil fertility replenishment in Africa: an investment in natural resource capital. In: Buresh RJ, Sanchez PA and Calhoun F(eds) Replenishing Soil Fertility in Africa. Soil Science Society of America Special Publication No. 51, pp 1–46. Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI, USAGoogle Scholar
  43. Shepherd KD and Soule MJ (1998) Soil fertility management in West Kenya: dynamic simulation of productivity, profitability and sustainability at different resource endowment levels. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 71: 131–146Google Scholar
  44. Sonke D (1997) Tithonia weed – a potential green manure crop. Echo Development Notes 57: 5–6Google Scholar
  45. Tona L, Kambu K, Ngimbi N, Cimanga K and Vlietinck AJ (1998) Antiamoebic and phytochemical screening of some Congolese medicinal plants. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 61: 57–65CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Tongma S, Kobayashi K and Usui K (1997) Effect of water extract from Mexican sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A. Gray) on germination and growth of tested plants. Journal of Weed Science and Technology 42: 373–378Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Jama
    • 1
  • C. A. Palm
    • 2
  • R. J. Buresh
    • 3
  • A. Niang
    • 1
  • C. Gachengo
    • 2
  • G. Nziguheba
    • 2
  • B. Amadalo
    • 1
  1. 1.National Agroforestry Research CentreKisumuKenya
  2. 2.Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Programme (TSBF)NairobiKenya
  3. 3.International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF)NairobiKenya

Personalised recommendations