Nitrogen fixation by three tropical forage legumes and the utilization of legume-fixed nitrogen by their associated grasses

Whitney, A.S.

Dissertation Abstracts B, The Sciences and Engineering 27(6): 1688

1966


ISSN/ISBN: 0420-073X
Accession: 014577253

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Abstract
Desmodium intortum, D. canum and Centrosema pubescens were grown alone and in combination with Pennisetum purpureum and Digitaria decumbens on volcanic soil. D. intortum yielded about 17, 000 lb DM/ac and 300 lb N/ac per year, and transferred small but significant amounts of N to the grasses. D. canum gave low yields and reduced the yield of N in grasses grown with it. C. pubescens in pure stand gave intermediate DM yields but yielded as much N as D. intortum; when grown with grass its yields of DM and N were halved, and N transfer to the grass occurred only after 6 months. Total N fixation during the trial was 340 lb/ac for D. intortum, 82 lb/ac for D. canum and 156 lb/ac for C. pubescens; transfer of N to grass was about 5% for D. intortum and up to 11% for C. pubescens. Solution-culture trials indicated that significant transfer of N could occur via the roots, particularly after defoliation. Leaf fall could supply over 1.2 lb N/ac per week.