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CAB eBooks

Ebooks on agriculture and the applied life sciences from CAB International

CABI Book Chapter

Below-ground interactions in tropical agroecosystems: concepts and models with multiple plant components.

Book cover for Below-ground interactions in tropical agroecosystems: concepts and models with multiple plant components.


This book provides a synthesis of plant-soil-plant interactions from the plot to landscape scale. It focuses on the process level, which is relevant to many types of multispecies agroecosystems (agroforestry, intercropping and others). It also links basic research to practical application (and indigenous knowledge) in a wide range of systems with or without trees, and considers implications of bel...


Chapter 6 (Page no: 109)

Opportunities for capture of deep soil nutrients.

This paper discusses the mechanisms by which nutrients occur in deep layers which include downward leaching of mobile nutrients, biological breakdown of soil organic matter and chemical breakdown of minerals. Soil nutrients not accessible to annual crops can be extracted by perennials through two processes: (i) the retrieval of nutrients already present in layers below the effective extent of rooting of annual crops; and (ii) the interception of nutrients moving below or outside the rooting zone of annuals. Several agroecosystems with the potential for more efficient use of nutrient resources in deep soil are illustrated: (i) intercropping perennials and annuals for complementarity in resource use; (ii) incorporating annuals into underutilized zones of tree plantations; and (iii) mixing plant species for spatial complementarity. Finally, suggestions to prevent the accumulation of mobile nutrients (nitrate) in deep soil are provided, including research in Kenya demonstrating that phosphorus fertilizer application can reduce nitrate accumulation in deep soil during continuous cropping of maize.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 1) Ecological interactions in multispecies agroecosystems: concepts and rules. Author(s): Ong, C. K. Kho, R. M. Radersma, S.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 17) Locally derived knowledge of soil fertility and its emerging role in integrated natural resource management. Author(s): Joshi, L. Shrestha, P. K. Moss, C. Sinclair, F. L.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 41) Models of below-ground interactions: their validity, applicability and beneficiaries. Author(s): Matthews, R. Noordwijk, M. van Gijsman, A. J. Cadisch, G.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 61) Tree root architecture. Author(s): Akinnifesi, F. K. Rowe, E. C. Livesley, S. J. Kwesiga, F. R. Vanlauwe, B. Alegre, J. C.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 83) Crop and tree root-system dynamics. Author(s): Noordwijk, M. van Rahayu, S. Williams, S. E. Hairiah, K. Khasanah, N. Schroth, G.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 127) Phosphorus dynamics and mobilization by plants. Author(s): Grierson, P. F. Smithson, P. Nziguheba, G. Radersma, S. Comerford, N. B.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 143) Managing soil acidity and aluminium toxicity in tree-based agroecosystems. Author(s): Wong, M. T. F. Hairiah, K. Alegre, J.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 157) Uptake, partitioning and redistribution of water by roots in mixed-species agroecosystems. Author(s): Smith, M. Burgess, S. S. O. Suprayogo, D. Lusiana, B. Widianto
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 171) Catching and competing for mobile nutrients in soils. Author(s): Cadisch, G. Willigen, P. de Suprayogo, D. Mobbs, D. C. Noordwijk, M. van Rowe, E. C.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 193) Below-ground inputs: relationships with soil quality, soil C storage and soil structure. Author(s): Albrecht, A. Cadisch, G. Blanchart, E. Sitompul, S. M. Vanlauwe, B.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 209) Soil-atmosphere gas exchange in tropical agriculture: contributions to climate change. Author(s): Verchot, L. V. Mosier, A. Baggs, E. M. Palm, C.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 227) Benefiting from N2-fixation and managing rhizobia. Author(s): Mafongoya, P. L. Giller, K. E. Odee, D. Gathumbi, S. Ndufa, S. K. Sitompul, S. M.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 243) Managing mycorrhiza in tropical multispecies agroecosystems. Author(s): Kuyper, T. W. Cardoso, I. M. Onguene, N. A. Murniati Noordwijk, M. van
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 263) Nematodes and other soilborne pathogens in agroforestry. Author(s): Desaeger, J. Rao, M. R. Bridge, J.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 285) Soil biodiversity and food webs. Author(s): Susilo, F. X. Neutel, A. M. Noordwijk, M. van Hairiah, K. Brown, G. Swift, M. J.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 309) Managing below-ground interactions in agroecosystems. Author(s): Rao, M. R. Schroth, G. Williams, S. E. Namirembe, S. Schaller, M. Wilson, J.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 329) Managing movements of water, solutes and soil: from plot to landscape scale. Author(s): Ranieri, S. B. L. Stirzaker, R. Suprayogo, D. Purwanto, E. Willigen, P. de Noordwijk, M. van
Chapter: 19 (Page no: 349) Soil and water movement: combining local ecological knowledge with that of modellers when scaling up from plot to landscape level. Author(s): Joshi, L. Schalenbourg, W. Johansson, L. Khasanah, N. Stefanus, E. Fagerström, M. H. Noordwijk, M. van
Chapter: 20 (Page no: 365) Challenges for the next decade of research on below-ground interactions in tropical agroecosystems: client-driven solutions at landscape scale. Author(s): Noordwijk, M. van Cadisch, G. Ong, C. K.