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Evaluating second year cropping on jhum fallows in Mizoram, north-eastern India: Phytomass dynamics and primary productivity



Evaluating second year cropping on jhum fallows in Mizoram, north-eastern India: Phytomass dynamics and primary productivity



Journal of Biosciences 21(4): 563-575



Cropping on jhum fallows in north-eartern India is predominantly done for one year in a jhum cycle. If second year cropping is done, expanse of the forest land required for slashing and burning could be reduced significantly. We tested this hypothesis in a young (6 yr) and an old (20 yr) jhum fallow. We also evaluated ff the productivity during second year cropping could be alleviated by auxiliary measures such as tilling the soil or application of fertilizers (chemical or farm-yard manure or both in combination). The results demonstrate that the ecosystem productivity (total dry matter production) and economic yield (rice grain production) decline with shortening of jhum cycle. Second year cropping causes a further decline in ecosystem productivity in old jhum field, but not in young jhum field. Economic yield from second year cropping in its traditional form (without any fertilizer treatment) is not much lower than that in the first year, and can be improved further by manuring the soil. Tilling of soil improves neither ecosystem productivity nor economic yield. Different fertilization treatments respond differently; while inorganic manuring enhances ecosystem productivity, a combination of inorganic and organic manuring improves economic yield.

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Accession: 008630275

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DOI: 10.1007/bf02703219


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