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Journal of Environmental Biology

pISSN: 0254-8704 ; eISSN: 2394-0379 ; CODEN: JEBIDP

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        Abstract - Issue Nov 2010, 31 (6)                                                                                                             Back



abstract_01

Growth, biomass production and photosynthesis of Cenchrus ciliaris L. under

Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne based silvopastoral systems in semi arid tropics

 

A.K. Mishra, H.S. Tiwari and R.K. Bhatt*

 

Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute, Jhansi - 284 003, India

 

(Received: September 07, 2009; Revised received: February 10, 2010; Re-revised received: March 12, 2010; Accepted: April 20, 2010)

 

Abstract: The growth, biomass production and photosynthesis of Cenchrus ciliaris was studied under the canopies of 17 yr old Acacia tortilis trees in semi arid tropical environment. On an average the full grown canopy of A. tortilis at the spacing of 4x4 m allowed 55% of total Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) which in turn increased Relative Humidity (RH) and reduced under canopy temperature to -1.75oC over the open air temperature. C. ciliaris attained higher height under the shade of A. tortilis. The tiller production and leaf area index decreased marginally under the shade of tree canopies as compared to the open grown grasses. C. ciliaris accumulated higher chlorophyll a and b under the shade of tree canopies indicating its shade adaptation potential. The assimilatory functions such as rate of photosynthesis, transpiration, stomatal conductance, photosynthetic water use efficiency (PN/TR) and carboxylation efficiency (PN/CINT) decreased under the tree canopies due to low availability of PAR. The total biomass production in term of fresh and dry weight decreased under the tree canopies. On average of 2 yr C. ciliaris had produced 12.78 t ha-1 green and 3.72 t ha-1 dry biomass under the tree canopies of A. tortilis. The dry matter yield reduced to 38% under the tree canopies over the open grown grasses. The A. tortilis + C. ciliaris maintained higher soil moisture, organic carbon content and available N P K for sustainable biomass production for the longer period. The higher accumulation of crude protein, starch, sugar and nitrogen in leaves and stem of C. ciliaris indicates that this grass species also maintained its quality under A. tortilis based silvopastoral system. The photosynthesis and dry matter accumulation are closely associated with available PAR indicating that for sustainable production of this grass species in the silvopasture systems for longer period about 55% or more PAR is required.

Key words: Acacia tortilis, Biomass, Cenchrus ciliaris, Chlorophyll, Nutrient, PAR, Photosynthesis, Silvopasture system

PDF of full length paper is available online

 

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