Root distributions in a Grevillea robusta-maize agroforestry system in semi-arid Kenya

Abstract

Limited knowledge of root distributions in agroforestry systems has resulted in assumptions that various tree species are more suited to agroforestry than others, because they are presumed to have few superficial lateral roots. This assumption was tested for Grevillea robusta when grown with maize (Zea mays) in an agroforestry system in a semi-arid region of Kenya. At a site with a shallow soil, root lengths of both species between the soil surface and bedrock were quantified by soil coring, at intervals over four cropping seasons, in plots containing sole stands and mixtures of the trees and crop; the trees were 4–6 years old and they were severely pruned before the third season. Profiles of soil water content were measured using a neutron probe. Prior to pruning of the trees, recharge of soil water below the deepest maize roots did not occur, resulting in significant (P

Citation

Plant and Soil (1999) 211 (2) 191-205 [doi: 10.1023/A:1004635414462]

Root distributions in a Grevillea robusta-maize agroforestry system in semi-arid Kenya

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