Int. J. Agron. Agri. Res.3( 2), 1-13, February 2013
Incorporation of legume residues in soil is a low cost option for improving soil fertility, but its effectiveness depends on residue quality. A study was conducted for two seasons (2007 and 2008) to determine the decomposition and nutrient release rates of butter bean, grasspea, common bean and chickpea residues. Chopped legume residues were placed in 2 mm nylon mesh bags and incubated in the soil at a depth of 15 cm. Dry matter weights and composition of residues were determined before incubation and thereafter fortnightly until the 14th week after incubation. Chickpea residues had significantly higher initial % lignin and lignin/nitrogen ratio than butter bean, grasspea and common bean residues. All studied legume residues had similar levels of cellulose, C/N ratio, N, C, P, K, and Ca. Nitrogen concentrations were above the critical values (18-22 g/kg) for net N mineralization in all the legumes whereas P concentrations were below the critical value (2.5 g/kg) for net P mineralization in chickpea and common bean. Dry matter and nutrient (N, P, K, Mg and Ca) disappearance rates of chickpea residues were significantly lower than for grasspea, butter bean and common bean. Grasspea residues had higher dry matter disappearance rates than other legumes’ residues. Grasspea and butter bean residues had significantly higher nutrient disappearance rates than common bean residues. Nutrient loss from all the residues was in the order K > P > N > Mg > Ca. Butter bean and grasspea crop residues have potential of providing soil N, P, K and Mg in the cold semi-arid region within a growing season.
Fosu M. 2003. Nitrogen accumulation and release from sunnhemp, calopo, mucuna and devil bean in semi-arid Ghana. Agriculture and Food Science Journal of Ghana 2, 141-153.
Fosu M, Kuhne RF, Flek PLG. 2004. Improving maize yield in the Guinea savanna zone of Ghana with leguminous cover crops and PK fertilization. Journal of Agronomy 3, 115-121.
Frank AB, Berdahl JD, Hanson JD, Liebig MA, Johnson HA. 2004. Biomass and carbon partitioning in switch grass. Crop Science Journal 44, 1391- 1396.
Giller KE. 2001. Nitrogen fixation in tropical cropping systems. CAB international. Wallingford (Oxford) 8DE UK, 93-106.
Gorrisen A, Cotrufo MF. 2000. Decomposition of leaf and root tissue of three perennial grass species grown at two levels of CO2 and N supply. Plant and Soil 224, 75-84.
Hartermink RJ, Buresh PM, Bodegom AR, Braun C, Jama BI, Janssen BH. 2000. Inorganic nitrogen dynamics in fallows and maize on an Oxisol and Alfisol in the highlands of Kenya. Geoderma 98, 11-33.
Haynes RJ. 1986. The decomposition process: mineralization, immobilization, humus formation and degradation. In: Haynes RJ, ed. Mineral nitrogen in the in the plant-soil system. Orlando, FL, USA: Academic press, 52-109.
Heal OW, Anderson JM, Swift MJ. 1997. Plant litter quality and decomposition. A historical overview. In: Cadish G. and Giller K.E, ed. Driven by nature: plant litter quality and decomposition. Wallingford, UK: CAB international, 47-66.
Insam, H. 1990. Are the soil microbial biomass and basal respiration governed by the climatic regime? Soil Biology and Biochemistry 22, 525-532.
Kwambiah AB, Stoskopt NC, Palm CA, Voroney RP, Rao MR, Gacheru E. 2003. Phosphorus availability and maize response to organic and inorganic fertilizer inputs in a short term study in Western Kenya. Agriculture, Ecosystem and Environment 95, 49-59.
Lunar-Orea P, Wagger MG. 1996. Management of tropical cover crops in the Bolivian Amazon to sustain crop yields and soil productivity. Agronomy Journal 88, 765-776.
Morreto AS, Distel RA, Didone NG. 2001. Decomposition and nutrient dynamics of litter and roots from palatable and unpalatable grasses in a semi-arid grassland. Applied Soil Ecology 18, 31-37.
Mubarak AR, Rosenani AB, Anuar AR, Zauya S. 2002. Decomposition and nutrient release of maize stover and groundnut haulm under tropical field conditions of Malaysia. Communications in Soil Science and Plant analysis 33, 609-622.
Nelson DW, Sommers LE. 2010. [Online] ww.aaslpsu.edu/soils.methods htm. Methods of soil analysis (accessed Nov. 15, 2010).
Niang AI, Amadalo BA, Wolf J, Gathumbi SM. 2002. Species screening for short-term planted fallows in the highlands of Western Kenya. Agroforestry Systems 56, 145-154.
Nicorlardot B, Recous S, Mary B. 2001. Simulation of C and N mineralization during crop residues decomposition: A simple dynamic model based on the C:N ratio of the residue. Plant and Soil 228, 83-103.
Njunie MN, Wagger MG, Luna-Orea P. 2004. Residue decomposition and nutrient release dynamics from two tropical forage legumes in a Kenyan environment. Agronomy Journal 96, 1073-1081.
Palm CA, Myers RJK, Nandwa SM. 1997. Combined use of organic and inorganic nutrient sources for soil fertility maintenance and replenishment. In Buresh RJ, Sanchez PA, Calhoun FG, ed. Replenishing soil fertility in Africa. Madison WI USA: SSSA Special publication No. 5, 196-217.
Place F, Christopher B, Barret H, Freeman A, Ramisch JJ, Vanlauwe B. 2003. Prospects for integrated soil fertility management using organic and inorganic inputs: evidence from smallholder African agricultural systems. Food Policy 28, 365-378.
SAS Institute. 1993. SAS/STAT users’ guide. Release 6.08. Ed. SAS. Cary, NC.
Smestad BT, Tiessen H, Buresh RJ. 2002. Short fallows of Tithonia diersifolia and Crotalalia grahamiana for soil fertility improvement in western Kenya. Agroforestry Systems 55, 181-194.
Srisuda T, Toomsan B, Vityakon P, Limpinuntana V, Patanothai A, Cadisch G. 2007. Interactions in decomposition and N mineralization between tropical legume residue components. Agroforestry Systems 72, 137-148.
Stevenson FC, Van Kessel C. 1996. The nitrogen and non-nitrogen benefits of pea to succeeding crop. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 76, 735-745.
Stott DE, Elliot LF, Papendick RI, Campbell GS. 1986. Low temperature or low water potential effects on the microbial decomposition of wheat residue. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 18, 577-582.
Wagger MG. 1989. Time of desiccation and plant composition and subsequent nitrogen release from several winter annual cover crops. Agronomy Journal 81, 236-241.