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Soil nitrogen as affected by Gliricidia sepium in a silvopastoral system in Guadeloupe, French Antilles

Abstract : Knowledge of the status and dynamics of soil N is essential to improving the production and management of silvopastoral system in the tropics. Soil N status and dynamics were analyzed as key factors affecting productivity and sustainability of a cut-and-carry silvopastoral system. The total soil N and N mineralization as affected by soil moisture and temperature were studied in a Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Walp - Dichanthium aristatum (Poir) C.E. Hubbard grassland association and in an adjacent open grassland located in a subhumid tropical region. The plot was installed in 1989 and the pruning residues and cut grass were removed from the site. No N fertilizer was applied. Total soil N increased at an average rate of 180 kg N ha(-1) in the 0-0.2 m soil layer of the silvopastoral plot. Only a third of this value could be explained by the litter, nodule and root turnover. Nitrogen mineralization in both soils varied as a function of temperature but it was not affected by soil moisture. Even if mean soil temperature was 1 degreesC to 2 degreesC greater in the open grassland, the estimated daily rate of in-situ N mineralization was 20% greater in the silvopastoral system. Our results indicated that greater N mineralization in the silvopastoral system was due to greater soil biological activity associated with higher soil organic matter rather than due to more favorable soil temperature and water conditions.
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Submitted on : Sunday, May 31, 2020 - 10:05:36 PM
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Jorge Sierra, Maguy Dulormne, Lucienne Desfontaines. Soil nitrogen as affected by Gliricidia sepium in a silvopastoral system in Guadeloupe, French Antilles. Agroforestry Systems, Springer Verlag, 2002, 54 (2), pp.87-97. ⟨10.1023/A:1015025401946⟩. ⟨hal-02680205⟩



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