Growth parameters and nutrient content in four multipurpose tree species with potential characteristics for agroforestry systems in a Cerrado region in Botucatu, São Paulo State, Brazil

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2002-07-27

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In order to evaluate growth characteristics, adaptability, biomass production, nutrient recycling, nutrient distribution and the ability to regenerate degraded land, a trial using four multipurpose tree species (Leucaena leucocephala, Leucaena diversifolia, Acacia melanoxylon and Mimosa scabrella) was undertaken over two years in a distrophic red yellow latosol (oxisol) following a randomized block experimental design with four replications. At the age of two years, A. melanoxylon and L. diversifolia were the tallest species (5.25 and 4.97 m, respectively) and A. melanoxylon and M. scabrella had the largest diameters at 20 cm from tree base. Mimosa scabrella and A. melanoxylon had the highest dry matter production and quantity of nutrients in the above ground biomass. In all species, the highest nutrient contents were found in the leaves, followed by branches and stems. From all species, the highest Nutrient Utilization Efficiency Indexes were obtained for sulphur, phosphorous, and magnesium; L. diversifolia was the most efficient for nitrogen, potassium, calcium, sulphur, and manganese, while A. melanoxylon was the most efficient for phosphorus, magnesium, boron, iron, and zinc. Litter production levels over a three month period were as follows: M. scabrella > A. melanoxylon > L. diversifolia > L. leucocephala. Litter nutrient content was higher in M. scabrella than in the other species.

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Journal of Sustainable Forestry, v. 15, n. 2, p. 87-105, 2002.

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