Soil characteristics under legume and non-legume tree canopies in signalgrass (Brachiaria decumbens) pastures

  • Jose CB Dubeux
  • Mario de Andrade Lira
  • Mercia V Ferreira dos Santos
  • Jim Muir
  • Monica A da Silva
  • Vicente I Teixeira
  • Alexandre C Leão de Mello

Abstract

Tree canopies can change soil environments. Our study looked at soils 10%, 50%, 100% and 150% the distance from tree trunk to canopy edge of leguminous sabiá (Mimosa caesalpiniifolia Benth.) and espinheiro (Machaerium aculeatum Raddi) and non-legume cajueiro (Anacardium occidentale L.) and jaqueira (Artocarpus integrifolia L.) in a signalgrass (Brachiaria decumbens Stapf) pasture. Composite soil samples were collected from the 0 to 10 cm soil layer. Clay concentration increased (P ≤ 0.05) with distance from tree trunk to full sunlight, whereas CO2 emission, phosphorus, and organic matter from soil collected under tree canopies were inversely proportional (P ≤0.05) to distance from the tree trunk. Soil under the canopy of espinheiro had greater (P ≤ 0.05) concentrations of exchangeable cations than the non-legume trees. Pearl millet [Pennisetum americanum (L.) Leeke] grown in soils collected under tree canopies had 24% greater (P ≤ 0.05) dry matter (DM) yields than those grown in full sunlight. Soil collected under cajueiro grew 100% greater (P ≤ 0.05) pearl millet DM yields than jaqueira, whereas soil collected under sabiá produced the least (P ≤ 0.05) pearl millet DM. Tree canopy had a positive effect on soil fertility and leguminous tree canopies tended to improve soil properties more than non-legumes.

Keywords: CO2 emission, extractable phosphorus, shade, silvopasture, soil organic matter

African Journal of Range & Forage Science 2014, 31(1): 37–42

Author Biographies

Jose CB Dubeux
North Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Marianna, FL 32446, USA
Mario de Andrade Lira
Instituto Agronômico de Pernambuco (IPA), Recife, Brazil
Mercia V Ferreira dos Santos
Zootecnia, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE), Recife, Brazil
Jim Muir
Borlaug Institute, Texas A&M University, Alma, South Africa; current address: Texas A&M Agrilife Research, Stephenville, TX 76401, USA
Monica A da Silva
Zootecnia, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE), Recife, Brazil
Vicente I Teixeira
Zootecnia, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE), Recife, Brazil
Alexandre C Leão de Mello
Zootecnia, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco (UFRPE), Recife, Brazil
Published
2014-02-26
Section
Articles

eISSN: 1727-9380