Show simple item record

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

Author: Tauro, T.P.
Author: Nezomba, H.
Author: Mtambanengwe, F.
Author: Mapfumo, P.
Year: 2010
ISSN: 1385-1314
Abstract: 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.
Language: English
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Article
Country: Zimbabwe
Region: Southern Africa
Pages: 91-101
Journal issue: 1
Journal: Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems
Journal volume: 88
DOI: 10.1007/s10705-009-9325-0
Keywords: Indigenous legumes
Keywords: Maize yield
Keywords: N2-fixation
Keywords: Species composition
Keywords: Species abundance
Keywords: Nutrient depleted sandy soils

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

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

Show simple item record