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Research Articles

Mucuna bracteate: Ideal cover crop for efficient soil and water management in rubber cultivation

Authors:

L. Samarappuli ,

Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, LK
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P. Karunadasa,

Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, LK
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U. Mitrasena,

Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, LK
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N. Shantha

Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka, LK
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Abstract

Data indicated that dry weights of green matter and litter production of Mucuna were three times higher than Pueraria. Similar results were observed with regard to thickness of the green matter and litter layers and the Mucuna exhibited 4S cm and 106 cm thick layers compared to 15cm and 36cm thick layers of Pueraria, for green matter and litter, respectively. According to data on transpiration rate indicated that Mucuna had significantly low transpiration rate compared to Pueraria. Data obtained also show that Mucuna had more deep rooted system compared to both rubber and Pueraria.

 

Data on soil bulk density of the 0cm-15cm and 15cm 30cm depths indicated that soils under Mucuna bad the significantly low bulk density and soil resistance when compared with Pueraria. It was found that growing Mucuna resulted in a significantly higher total aggregation percentage in the region of 17% over Pueraria. The soils under Mucuna showed a significantly higher moisture content of 19.6% and 18.1 % for the depths of 0-15 cm and 1S-30cm respectively, in comparison to the soils under Pueraria. Among the two species, Mucuna records higher moisture profile storage capacity of 2S.8 cm for a depth of 90 cm. There was an increase of 41 % in the moisture storage capacity as compared to Pueraria. The rate of water absorption into the soil indicated a distinct variation among the different treatments. The infiltration rate was higher in the soils under Mucuna. Data on soil loss under two species of legumes indicated that growing Mucuna bas minimized the soil loss significantly, compared to growing. Soil analysis also indicated a build­up of organic carbon and microbes in the soil under Mucuna in comparison to Pueraria.
How to Cite: Samarappuli, L., Karunadasa, P., Mitrasena, U. and Shantha, N., 2003. Mucuna bracteate: Ideal cover crop for efficient soil and water management in rubber cultivation. Tropical Agricultural Research and Extension, 6, pp.85–90. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tare.v6i0.5445
Published on 30 Dec 2003.
Peer Reviewed

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