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Nitrogen Mineralization From Prunings Of Three Multipurpose Legume And Maize Uptake In Alley Cropping System

CI Okonkwo, JSC Mbagwu, SO Egwu


A study was conducted on soil N mineralization in the field in an alley cropping system between 2003 -2005 under two soil depths (0-30cm and 30-60cm) through the utilization of an in-situ soil core technique for studying fluxes of mineral N and its uptake by maize. Result obtained indicated that N mineralization was in the pattern of Gliricidia sepium > Leucarna leucocephala > Cajanus cajan > fertilizer > control. The highest N mineralization of 78.91 mg N Kg-1 soil was obtained in the Gliricidia sepium treatment under 0-30cm soil depth. Between the alley and the fertilizer treatment, cumulative N mineralization was more in the alley treatments. Both mineralization and nitrification processes occurred more in the 0-30cm than 30-60cm soil depths. Among the legumes, low N mineralization, nitrification and ammonification were found in the Cajanus cajan alley treatments. Leaching was more pronounced in the fertilizer than in the alley treatments. However, nutrient uptake was observed highest in the alley treatments showing that nutrient recovery by maize was highest from the mineralization pruning of legumes in alley cropping system.

Agro-Science Vol. 7 (2) 2008: pp. 143-148
AJOL African Journals Online