Volunteer biomass production between multipurpose tree hedgerows after two years of fallow in southern Cameroon

Abstract

The ability of multipurpose hedgerow tree species to out-compete undesired regrowth during fallow phases was examined. Biomass and spatial distribution of grass and broad leaf volunteers was measured after two years of fallow, in two alley cropping systems planted at six m interrow distance, at the Humid Forest Ecoregional Centre Research Station, Mbalmayo, southern Cameroon. The two experiments had been continuously cropped for five and six years previously. In the experiment cropped for six years, the presence of Senna spectabilis [(DC.) Irwin and Barnaby] hedgerows reduced the biomass of the volunteer regrowth from 9.2 to 4.3 Mg ha−1. Tillage during the previous cropping phase increased the broad leaf biomass from 3.0 to 4.4 Mg ha−1, reduced the biomass of grasses from 3.4 to 2.7 Mg ha−1 but had no effect on the total volunteer biomass. Volunteer biomass was significantly lower within 1.5 m of the S. spectabilis hedgerows than at positions further away. In the experiment cropped for five years, S. spectabilis reduced the volunteer regrowth biomass significantly. Two other hedgerow species, Dactyladenia barteri [(Hook f ex Oliv.) Engl.] and Flemingia macrophylla [(Willd.) Merrill] had no effect on the total amount of volunteer regrowth but did reduce volunteer biomass within 0.5 m of the hedgerows. S. spectabilis caused a stronger reduction of volunteer biomass than D. barteri and F. macrophylla at almost all distances from the hedgerows. The competitiveness of D. barteri and F. macrophylla is insufficient and their growth habit is unsuitable to out-compete undesired species in this alley cropping system.

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Hauser, S. Volunteer biomass production between multipurpose tree hedgerows after two years of fallow in southern Cameroon. Agroforestry Systems 55, 139–147 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1020586711333

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  • Dactyladenia barteri
  • Flemingia macrophylla
  • Senna spectabilis
  • Tillage
  • Weeds