Prunings of Calliandra calothyrsus, Grevillea robusta, Leucaena diversifolia and farm yard manure were applied each cropping season at 3 and 6 t dry matter ha−1 to an Oxisol in Burundi. The field plots also received basal applications of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Application of the tree prunings or farm yard manure decreased the concentration of monomeric inorganic aluminium (Al) in soil solution from 2.92 mg Al dm−3 in the control plots to 0.75 mg Al dm−3 in the plots receiving 6 t ha−1 Calliandra prunings. The other organic materials also decreased the concentration of monomeric inorganic aluminium in the soil solution. The lowered Al concentration led to a corresponding decrease in the percentage Al saturation of the 0–10 cm soil layer from 80% to 68%. Grain yields of maize and beans were strongly inversely related to the percentage Al saturation of the soil. This confirms that soil acidity was the main constraint to maize and beans production. The yield improvement was mainly attributed to the ameliorating effects of the organic matter application on Al toxicity. The nutrient content had less effect presumably because of fertilizer use. In the best treatments, the yield of maize increased from 0.9 to 2.2 t ha−1 and the corresponding beans yield increased from 0.2 to 1.2 t ha−1.
Plant and Soil (1995) 171 (2) 275-282 [doi: 10.1007/BF00010282]