Effects of Acacia seyal and biochar on soil properties and sorghum yield in agroforestry systems in South Sudan

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Deng , B , Tammeorg , P , Luukkanen , O , Helenius , J & Starr , M 2017 , ' Effects of Acacia seyal and biochar on soil properties and sorghum yield in agroforestry systems in South Sudan ' , Agroforestry Systems , vol. 91 , no. 1 , pp. 137-148 . https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-016-9914-2

Title: Effects of Acacia seyal and biochar on soil properties and sorghum yield in agroforestry systems in South Sudan
Author: Deng, Biar; Tammeorg, Priit; Luukkanen, Olavi; Helenius, Juha; Starr, Mike
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences
University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences
University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences
University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences
University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences
Date: 2017-02
Language: eng
Number of pages: 12
Belongs to series: Agroforestry Systems
ISSN: 0167-4366
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/214800
Abstract: We studied the effects of Acacia seyal Del. intercropping and biochar soil amendment on soil physico-chemical properties and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) yields in a two-year field experiment conducted on a silt loam site near Renk in South Sudan. A split-plot design with three replications was used. The main factor was tree-cropping system (dense acacia + sorghum, scattered acacia + sorghum, and sole sorghum) and biochar (0 and 10 Mg ha(-1)) was the subplot factor. The two acacia systems had lower soil pH, N and higher C/N ratios compared to the sole sorghum system. Biochar significantly increased soil C, exchangeable K+ contents, field capacity and available water content, but reduced soil exchangeable Ca2+ and effective CEC, and had no effect on soil pH. Acacia intercropping significantly reduced sorghum grain yields while biochar had no significant effect on sorghum yields. The land equivalent ratio (LER) for sorghum yield was 0.3 for both acacia systems in 2011, with or without biochar, but increased in 2012 to 0.6 for the scattered acacia system when combined with biochar. The reduction in sorghum yields by the A. seyal trees was probably due to a combination of competition for water and nutrients and shading. The lack of a yield response to biochar maybe due to insufficient time or too low a dosage. Further research is needed to test for the effects of tree intercropping and biochar and their interactions on soil properties and crop yields in drylands.
Subject: Acacia seyal
Biochar
Land equivalent ratio (LER)
Savanna
Tree intercropping
BIOLOGICAL NITROGEN-FIXATION
NERE PARKIA-BIGLOBOSA
NORTH KORDOFAN STATE
BOREAL LOAMY SAND
BLUE-NILE REGION
AGRONOMIC PERFORMANCE
ORGANIC-MATTER
BURKINA-FASO
CROP YIELDS
TREES
4112 Forestry
4111 Agronomy
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