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Population dynamics of mixed indigenous legume fallows and influence on subsequent maize following mineral P application in smallholder farming systems of Zimbabwe

Autor: Tauro, T.P.
Autor: Nezomba, H.
Autor: Mtambanengwe, F.
Autor: Mapfumo, P.
Año: 2010
ISSN: 1385-1314
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10883/1535
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10883/1535
Resumen: Developing soil fertility management options for increasing productivity of staple food crops is a challenge in most parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, where soils are constrained by nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) deficiencies. A study was conducted to evaluate the response of indigenous legume populations to mineral P application, and subsequently their benefits to maize yield. Mineral P was applied at 26 kg P ha&#8722;1 before legume species were sown in mixtures at 120 seeds m&#8722;2 species&#8722;1 and left to grow over two rainy seasons (2 years). Application of P increased overall biomass productivity by 20?60% within 6 months, significantly influencing the composition of non-leguminous species. Dinitrogen fixation, as determined by the N-difference method, was increased by 43?140% although legume biomass productivity was apparently limited by nutrients other than P and N. Crotalaria pallida and C. ochroleuca accounted for most of the fixed N. Improved N supply increases the abundance of non-leguminous species, particularly Conyza sumatrensis and Ageratum conyzoides. However, abundance of common weed species, Commelina benghalensis, Richardia scabra and Solanum aculeastrum, declined by up to18%. Application of P did not significantly influence productivity of those legume species that reached maturity within 3 months. There was increased N2-fixation and biomass productivity of indifallows as influenced by specific legume species responding to P application. Compared with natural (grass) fallows, indigenous legume fallows (indifallows) increased subsequent maize grain yields by ~40%. Overall, 1- and 2-year indifallows gave maize grain yields of >2 and 3 t ha&#8722;1, respectively, against <1 t ha&#8722;1 under corresponding natural fallows. Two-year indifallows with P notably increased maize yields, but the second year gave low yields regardless of P treatment. Because of their low P requirement, indigenous legume fallows have potential to stimulate maize productivity under some of the most nutrient depleted soils.
Lenguaje: English
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Tipo: Article
Pais: Zimbabwe
Región: Southern Africa
Paginas: 91-101
No de Revista: 1
Revista: Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems
Volumen de la Revista: 88
DOI: 10.1007/s10705-009-9325-0
Palabras Claves: Indigenous legumes
Palabras Claves: Maize yield
Palabras Claves: N2-fixation
Palabras Claves: Species composition
Palabras Claves: Species abundance
Palabras Claves: Nutrient depleted sandy soils


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  • Sustainable Intensification
    Sustainable intensification agriculture including topics on cropping systems, agronomy, soil, mechanization, precision agriculture, etc.

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