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Management of Agroforestry Systems for Enhancing Resource Use Efficiency and Crop Productivity

English IAEA-TECDOC-CD-1606 978-92-0-150909-3
15.00 2009

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Soil and water management is the key to sustainable crop production and food security. This publication contains contributions from participants of an IAEA coordinated research programme on the use of nuclear techniques for developing integrated nutrient and water management practices for agroforestry systems. A representative range of agroforestry systems (tree fallows, alley crops, agro-silvo-pastoral systems, shade trees and windbreaks) were studied under variable soil and climatic conditions. The studies were primarily concerned with the central issue in agroforestry, namely, whether trees and crops are competitive or complementary in their use of natural resources, principally water and nutrients. Nuclear and isotopic techniques were used to provide crucial information on nutrient and water dynamics in agroforestry systems. The studies show that the integration of trees and crops can increase resource use efficiency, but careful management and a system design tailored to local climatic and soil conditions are required if competition and consequent reduction in crop yields are to be avoided.

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