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Nutrient cycling and sustainability in alley-cropping systems in the humid tropics : phosphorus, labile soil organic phosphorus and base-cations

Objective



THIS PROJECT CONTINUES THE WORK BEGUN IN OUR COLLABORATIVE PROJECT UNDER STD 2. PRESENT COLLABORATORS ARE : THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE, ESTACION EXPERIMENTAL DEL ZAIDIN, GRANADA, SPAIN AND THE UNIVERSITY 0F COSTA RICA. THIS PROPOSED PROJECT WOULD ALSO INCLUDE THE INSTITUTE 0F TERRESTRIAL ECOLOGY. UK.
WE HAVE LARGE (2+HA.), CAREFULLY MONITORED TRIAL AREAS OF ALLEY-CROPPING AND CLEAR CROPPING IN THE HUMID TROPICAL LOWLANDS OF COSTA RICA. THE SOIL IS VERY ACID (ULTISOL) ; PHOSPHORUS AVAILABILITY IS VERY LOW ; PHOSPHORUS SORBTION BY ALL BUT THE MOST SUPERFICIAL SOIL LAYERS IS VERY HIGH. MULCHING THE SOIL WITH FRESHLY PRUNED FOLIAGE FROM CERTAIN ACID-TOLERANT LEGUME TREE SPECIES, GROWN IN SITU, PRODUCES A VERY MARKED RAISING 0F (MYCORRHIZAL) FINE ROOTS OF THE ALLEY TREES AND CROP PLANTS. APPLICATION 0F ROCK PHOSPHORUS TO THIS MULCH PRODUCES A RESPONSE IN THE CROPS AND TREES AND APPEARS TO DEFEAT PHOSPHORUS SORBTION IN THE SOIL. APPLICATION OF GROUND BASIC ROCKS BENEFITS THE SYSTEM.
OUR FOCUS oF INTEREST IS IN SUSTAINABILITY OF PRODUCTION ;THESE PROCESSES ARE VITAL To IT. WE SHALL HAVE 3 YEARS' CROPPING DATA BY THE END OF THE PROJECT UNDER STD 2 ;FOR CONSIDERATIONS OF SUSTAINABILITY WE SHALL NEED 7 YEARS.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

University of Cambridge
Address
Downing Place
CB2 3EN Cambridge
United Kingdom

Participants (3)

CONSEJO SUPERIOR DE INVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
Address
1,Profesor Albareda 1
18008 Granada
NERC Institute of Terrestrial Ecology
United Kingdom
Address
Merlewood Research Station Windermere Road
LA11 6JU Grange-over-sands
Universidad de Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Address
Ciudad Universitaria
San José