Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 109–117 | Cite as

Microclimate modification and response of wheat planted under trees in a fan design in northern India



The presence of trees in fields may help overcome the physiological stress that happens to late sown wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in subtropical India. Wheat was planted in an agroforestry system with Eucalyptus tereticornis trees on 7 January 1998 in a fan design that provided different combinations of tree row spacing and orientations. Crop profile microclimatic conditions and the resulting growth responses of the intercropped wheat were studied to explore the potential of agroforestry systems to influence late sown wheat yields under different tree row spacing and orientations. Agroforestry treatments exhibited a potential to optimize the microclimatic conditions for seedling emergence, tillering and earhead emergence at some tree row orientations and distances from the crop. The net radiation distribution at three stages of crop growth indicated that the radiation availability was lower in all the agroforestry treatments than for the sole crop. The tree row orientation and distance influence the growth behavior of the crop but the effect of sun angle (which changes with season) can change their influence over time. The deterioration or amelioration of microclimatic conditions in agroforestry with the passage of time should be expected because of altered interaction patterns between sunrays and tree canopy resulting from changing solar elevation and angle of sunrays. Statistically similar harvest indices in all the treatments despite lower total biological yields in agroforestry treatments revealed that microclimatic conditions under agroforestry were more favorable for wheat growth attributed to reduction in heat load during the post anthesis period.

Eucalyptus Net radiation Solar elevation Sun angle Tree pruning Tree row orientation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Chazdon R.L. and Pearcy R.W. l986. Photosynthetic responses to light variation in rain forest species. II. Carbon gain and light utilization during lightflecks. Oecologia 69: 524–531.Google Scholar
  2. CIMMYT 1984. of the twentieth international spring wheat yield nursery (ISWYN), 1983–84. CIMMYT, Mexico.Google Scholar
  3. Deshpande S.B., Fehrenbacher J.B. and Beavers A.H. 1971. Mollisols of terai region of Uttar Pradesh, northern India, 1. Morphology and mineralogy. Geoderma 6: 179–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Horn H.S. 1971. The adaptive geometry of trees. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 144 p.Google Scholar
  5. Knapp A.K. and Smith W.K. 1990. Stomatal and photosynthetic responses to variable sunlight. Physiol. Plant 78: 160–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kohli A. and Saini B.C. 2001. Growth responses of rice (Oryza sa-tiva) to modified microclimates in agroforestry. IRRN 26: 37–38.Google Scholar
  7. Kohli R.K., Daljit-Singh and Verma R.C. 1990. Influence of euca-lypt shelterbelt on winter season agroecosystems. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 33: 23–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Malik R.S. and Sharma S.K. 1990. Moisture extraction and crop yield as a function of distance from a row of Eucalyptus tereti-cornis. Agroforestry Systems 12: 187–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Messing I. and Noureddine A. Sidi Bouzid (ed.) 1991. Effects of wind breaks on wind velocity, evapotranspiration and yield of irrigated crops in the arid zone (Rural development studies number 30). Central Tunisia, 40 p.Google Scholar
  10. Nelder J.A. 1962. New kinds of systematic designs for spacing experiments. Biometrics 18: 283–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Nuberg I.K. 1998. Effect of shelter on temperate crops: a review to define research for Australian conditions. Agroforestry Systems 41: 3–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Powell D.B.B. 1980. Wheat water relations and lysimeter experiments, Agriculture Research. South Asian Department of Agriculture and Technology Services, 86 p.Google Scholar
  13. Saini B.C. and Ghildyal B.P. 1978. Seasonal water use by winter wheat grown under shallow water table conditions. Agric Water Manage 1: 263–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Saini B.C., Misra K.K. and Singh R.V. 1997. Performance of wheat in intercropping system with Gutel (Trewia nudiflora) under shallow water table conditions. Ann. Agric. Res. 18:51–55.Google Scholar
  15. Wang O.B. and Shogren J.F. 1992. Characteristics of the crop Paulownia intercropping system in China. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 39: 145–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Wheeler T.R., Hong T.D., Ellis R.H., Batts G.R., Morison J.I.L. and Hadley P. 1996. The duration and rate of grain growth and harvest index of wheat. (Triticum aestivum L.) in response to temperature and CO 2. J. Exp. Bot. 47: 623–630.Google Scholar
  17. Zavitkovski J. 1982. Characterization of light climate under canopies of intensively cultured hybrid poplar plantation. Agric. Meteorol. 25: 245–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Soil Science, College of AgricultureGB Pant University of Agriculture and TechnologyPantnagarIndia
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology and Environmental SciencesThapar Institute of Engineering and TechnologyPatialaIndia

Personalised recommendations