Below-ground interactions in tropical agroecosystems: by Meine van Noordwijk, Georg Cadisch, Chin K Ong

By Meine van Noordwijk, Georg Cadisch, Chin K Ong

This ebook presents a synthesis of plant-soil-plant interactions from the plot to panorama scale. It makes a speciality of the method point, that is proper to many sorts of multispecies agroecosystems (agroforestry, intercropping and others). It additionally hyperlinks easy examine to useful program (and indigenous wisdom) in a variety of platforms without or with timber, and considers implications of below-ground interactions for the surroundings and worldwide swap concerns. The contents comprise root structure and dynamics, plant-soil biota interactions, soil biodiversity and nutrients webs, water and nutrient biking, and the required linkage to modelling techniques. to be had In Print

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Joshi et al. low, frequent rainfall or irrigation is required for good crop production. Nepali farmers also possess knowledge about differential rates of crop germination and growth in light and heavy soils given different rainfall patterns. Light soils easily become moist, even with light rainfall: this results in early germination and the fast growth of crops. Heavy soil is hard when dry, and requires high and regular rainfall to moisten it; hence, crop germination and growth is slow in such soils if rainfall is low and irregular.

This causes insect pest infestation of the soil to increase. They do not, however, appear to appreciate other ameliorating effects animal manure can have on soil (such as pH buffering and the raising of its cation exchange capacity). In one location (Palpa), farmers were also concerned about the speed at which crop residues left on their bari land decomposed. For example, wheat roots were considered to be very tough, taking up to a year to fully decompose and making soil rukho (‘infertile’) in the process.

To the northeast of Nazret, in the Rift Valley of Ethiopia, farmers largely apply manure to maize fields but not to teff (Eragrostis tef), which has a lower yield potential and tends to lodge and suffer weed infestation if highly fertilized (Fujisaka, 1997). Ethiopian farmers also believe that rapid vegetative growth increases susceptibility to drought, and therefore limit their application of nitrogen fertilizer. 4 Soil ‘coolness’ and fertility Farmers also relate soil temperature to fertility.

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