Productivity, Leaf Nutrient Content and Soil Carbon Stocked in Agroforestry and Traditional Management of Maize (Zea mays L.)
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The aim of the work was to evaluate the productivity, leaf nutrient content and soil nutrient concentration in maize (Zea mays L.) grown in sequence with black oats (Avena strigosa Schreb.) under Leucaena diversifolia alley cropping agroforestry system (AFS) and traditional management system/sole crop (without trees-TS), after two years of cultivation following a randomized block design. The experiment was carried out in the Brazilian Association of Biodynamic Agriculture, in Botucatu—S?o Paulo, Brazil. Treatments were: control (C), chemical fertilizer application (F), biomass of L. diversifolia alley cropping application (B), biomass of L. diversifolia alley cropping + chemical fertilizer application (B + F). In the second year of management it was observed that black oat yield was higher in treatments B + F and F with significant difference in relation to the others treatments in both systems, followed by treatment B. Between systems, only treatment B showed significant difference, with higher yield value corresponding to AFS, reflecting the efficiency of AFS to promote soil fertility. Maize production presented the second year of cultivation an increasing trend in all treatments in both production systems. This result may be due to the cumulative effect of mineralization and maize straw and oats, along the experiment. How productivity was higher in the AFS system, could also be occurring effect of biological nitrogen fixation, water retention and reduction of extreme microclimate through the rows of L. diversifolia. Comparing the AFS and TS, it was observed that the concentration of N in leaf tissue was higher in the AFS treatments, probably due to nitrogen fixation performed through the rows of L. diversifolia, that is a nitrogen fixing tree species. After two years, carbon stocked in soil show higher values in the treatments biomass + fertilizer and biomass application, in both systems, AFS and TS.