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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The effect of a perennial cover crop on net soil N mineralization and microbial biomass carbon in coconut plantations in the humid tropics

Published source details

Pandey C.B. & Begum M. (2010) The effect of a perennial cover crop on net soil N mineralization and microbial biomass carbon in coconut plantations in the humid tropics. Soil Use and Management, 26, 158-166


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Grow cover crops beneath the main crop (living mulches) or between crop rows Soil Fertility

A controlled, randomized, replicated experiment in 2009 on gravelly-sandy-loams in South Andaman Islands, India (Pandey & Begum 2010) found 41% more soil carbon and 46% more soil nitrogen in coconut palm Cocos nucifera plots with cover crops than in the control. Adding phosphorus to the cover crop increased nitrogen levels by 16%. Nitrogen mineralization (breakdown of organic matter, e.g. leaves, into mineral nitrogen) was 39% and 73% higher in soils with a cover crop, and a cover crop plus phosphorus respectively, compared to the control. There were six replicates of four treatments in a coconut plantation: no cover crop (control), no cover crop plus phosphorus (16% P at 24 kg/ha), cover crop (kudzu Pueraria phaseoloides), and cover crop plus phosphorus. Each plot was 40 x 40 m and contained 28 coconut palms, 7.5 m apart. Ten soil samples were taken monthly to 15 cm depth from each plot. Soil carbon, nitrogen and nitrogen mineralization were measured.

 

Amend the soil with formulated chemical compounds Soil Fertility

A controlled, randomized, replicated experiment in 2009 on gravelly sandy loams in the South Andaman Islands, India (Pandey & Begum 2010) found that adding phosphorus to a cover crop increased nitrogen levels by 16%. Nitrogen mineralization (the breakdown of organic matter, e.g. leaves, into mineral nitrogen) was greater in cover-cropped soils with added phosphorus than in cover-cropped soils without added fertilizer (73% and 39% greater than control, respectively). Nitrogen levels were 8% higher in soil with no cover crop plus phosphorus, compared to the control. There were six replicates of four treatments in a coconut palm Cocos nucifera plantation: no cover crop (control), no cover crop plus phosphorus (16% P (P2O5) at 24 kg/ha), cover crop (Kudzu Pueraria phaseoloides) and cover crop plus phosphorus (24 kg/ha). Each plot was 40 x 40 m and contained 28 coconut palms 7.5 m apart. Each month 10 soil samples were taken to 15 cm depth from each plot. Soil carbon, nitrogen and nitrogen mineralization were measured.