Leaf Decomposition and the Nutrients Release from Multipurpose Trees for Crop Production

Authors(5) :-Ekow Gaisie, Adams Sadick, Kennedy Agyeman, Thomas Adjei-Gyapong, Gabriel Quansah

Decomposition and pattern of nutrients in the residual leaf material is important in assessing suitability of MPTs species to provide nutrients for growing crop. The rate of decomposition of organic matter, mineralization and release of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium of fresh leaf litter of five multipurpose trees (MPTs) were measured using litter bags for 12 weeks at the CSIR-Crops Research Institute’s field at Kwadaso-Kumasi. Nitrogen concentration in leaf biomass sample of the MPTs ranged from 3.08 to 4.76% in the order Albizia lebbeck > Leucaena leucocephala > Senna spectabilis > Gliricidia sepium > Senna siamea. Potassium contents ranged from 0.43 to 0.68%. The decomposition process was slow in S. siamea and A. lebbeck which lost 45.2% and 43.3% respectively. Decomposition was highest in the 6th week, S. spectabilis and L. leucocephala losing 50.9% and 59.2% respectively. By the end of the 12th week S. spectabilis, L. leucocephala and G. sepium lost 75.8%, 75.9% and 79.1% respectively, representing 189.6g, 189.8g and 197.8g of leaves respectively. N release is considerably faster in the first six to eight weeks. On the basis of the results obtained from this study Leucaena leucocephala and Gliricidia sepium showed promise as materials that could be applied for the release of nutrient to growing crop especially nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and calcium.  

Authors and Affiliations

Ekow Gaisie
Soil and Water Conservation, Soil Research Institute, Kumasi, Ghana
Adams Sadick
Soil Chemistry and Mineralogy, Soil Research Institute, Kumasi, Ghana
Kennedy Agyeman
Resource and Crop Management, Crops Research Institute, Kumasi, Ghana
Thomas Adjei-Gyapong
Crop Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
Gabriel Quansah
Soil Chemistry Mineralogy, Soil Research Institute, Kumasi, Ghana

Multipurpose Trees, Environmental Quality, Agroforestry and Decomposition,

  1. Adejuyigbe C. O. (2000). Effects of fallow legumes on soil micro arthropods and their roles in nutrient turnover under humid tropical conditions. (PhD Thesis.) University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.
  2. Anderson, J.M. and Ingram, J. S. I. (1993) Tropical soil biology and fertility: A handbook of methods CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp. 12.
  3. Berge B. and McClaugherty (2002). Plant litter decomposition humus. Springer-verlag, New York. Black C. A (ed.) (1965). Methods of soil analysis. Agronomy No. 9, Part 2. America Society of Agronomy, Madison, Wisconsin.
  4. Budelman A (1989) Nutrient composition of the leaf biomass of three selected woody leguminous species. Agroforestry Systems 8:39-51
  5. Cadisch, G., Giller, K.E., 1997. Driven by Nature; Plant Litter Quality and Decomposition. Oxford University Press, UK. 409 pp
  6. Cox P., Wilkinson P. M. and Anderson J. M. (2001). Effects of fungal inocula on the decomposition of lignin and structural polysaccharides in Pinus sylvestris litter. Biol. Fert. Soils 33: 246–251.
  7. Handayanto E, Cadisch G and Giller KE (1994) Nitrogen release from prunings of legume hedgerow trees in relation to quality of the prunings and incubation method. Plant and Soil 160:237-248
  8. Hunt, H. W., Ingham, E. R., Coleman, D. C. and Reid, C. P. P. (1988) Nitrogen limitation of production and decomposition in praire, mountain meadow, and pine forest. Ecology 69: 1009 – 1016.
  9. Isaac, S. R. and M. A. Nair (2006) Litter dynamics of six multipurpose trees in a home garden in southern Kerala, India. Agroforestry Systems 67: 203 – 213.
  10. Knops, J. (2003). Plant Litter Decomposition. Retrieved on Dec 2, 2006 from http://csp.unl.edu/public/G_decomp.htm.
  11. Lal, R., 2004. Soil carbon sequestration impacts on global climate change and food security. Science 304, 1623–1629.
  12. Mugendi, D. N., Nair, P. K. R., Mugwe, J. N., O’Neil, M. K., Swift, M. J. and Woomer, P. L. (1999) Alleycropping of maize with Calliandra and Leucaena in the subhunid highlands of Kenya: part 2: Biomass decomposition nitrogen mineralization and nitrogen uptake by maize. Agroforestry Systems 46: 51 – 64.
  13. O’Connell AM, TS Grove. 1996. Biomass production, nutrient uptake and nutrient cycling in the jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) and karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor) forests of south-western Australia. In Attiwill PM, MA Adams eds. Nutrition of Eucalypts. Canberra, Australia. CSIRO. p. 155-189.
  14. Oglesby KA and Fownes JH (1992) Effects of chemical composition on nitrogen mineralization from green manures of seven tropical leguminous trees. Plant and Soil 143:127-132
  15. Palm C. A. and Sanchez P. A. (1990). Decomposition and nutrient release patterns of the leaves of three tropical legumes. Biotropica 22: 330–338.
  16. Palm, C.A., Gachengo, C.N., Delve, R.J., Cadisch, G., Giller, K.E., 2001. Organic inputs for soil fertility management in tropical agro-ecosystems: application of an organic resource database. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment 83, 27–42.
  17. Parsons, W. F. J., Taylor, B.R. and Parkinson, D. (1990). Decomposition of aspen (Populus tremuloides) leaf litter modified by leaching. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 20: 943 – 951. In: Anglaere L.C.N. (2005) Improving the sustainability of cocoa farms in Ghana through utilization of Nature forest in agroforestry systems. PhD thesis. Uniiversity of Wales, Bangor, UK.

Publication Details

Published in : Volume 2 | Issue 1 | January-February 2016
Date of Publication : 2016-02-25
License:  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Page(s) : 345-352
Manuscript Number : IJSRSET162156
Publisher : Technoscience Academy

Print ISSN : 2395-1990, Online ISSN : 2394-4099

Cite This Article :

Ekow Gaisie, Adams Sadick, Kennedy Agyeman, Thomas Adjei-Gyapong, Gabriel Quansah, " Leaf Decomposition and the Nutrients Release from Multipurpose Trees for Crop Production, International Journal of Scientific Research in Science, Engineering and Technology(IJSRSET), Print ISSN : 2395-1990, Online ISSN : 2394-4099, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.345-352, January-February-2016.
Journal URL : http://ijsrset.com/IJSRSET162156

Article Preview