Prospects of allelopathic research in multi-storey cropping systems

  • Jacob John
  • A. M. Nair


The necessity to intensify agricultural land use has led to the development of multistorey cropping and crop mixtures. The crop combinations in two most intensive multistorey cropping systems practised World wide viz., plantation crop-based systems and homestead agroforestry system have been reviewed in this paper. In the past, much work on allelopathic interactions has been conducted in agriculture and forestry but studies in multi-storey cropping systems are limited. The study of allelopathic interactions in multi-storey cropping systems is highly complicated, owing to the species diversity and interferences arising from competition between different components of the system. This is further complicated by the unique microclimatic and edaphic factors of each system. Allelopathic research in these multi-storey cropping systems demands a multidisciplinary systems approach in which the different biological components of the system viz., microclimate, soil properties, microflora, spatial and temporal dimensions etc., should be investigated in totality. Considering the complexity of allelopathic interactions in multi-storey cropping systems, the thrust areas for allelopathic research are: separating allelopathic interference from competition, screening germplasm of crops/trees for suitability to these systems, monitoring the production of allelochemicals by the different components in relation to the microclimatic and edaphic factors of the system, exploitation of allelopathy for improving the productivity of the system and plant protection.

Key words

agroforestry allelopathy arecanut cashew coconut homestead multistorey cropping plantation crops rubber 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacob John
    • 1
  • A. M. Nair
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of AgronomyCollege of Agriculture, Padannakkad, Padannakkad P.O.KeralaIndia
  2. 2.Department of AgronomyCollege of AgricultureThiruvananthapuram, KeralaIndia

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