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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 95 No. 5, p. 1172-1178
    Received: Jan 14, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): somado@hotmail.com
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Combined Effects of Legumes with Rock Phosphorus on Rice in West Africa

  1. Eklou A. Somado *ae,
  2. Mathias Beckerb,
  3. Ronald F. Kuehnea,
  4. Kanwar L. Sahrawatc and
  5. Paul L. G. Vlekd
  1. a Univ. of Göttingen, Inst. of Agron. in the Tropics, Grisebachstrasse 6, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany
    e Bp 12 595 Lomé, Togo, West Africa
    b Univ. of Bonn, Inst. of Agric. Chem., Karlrobert Kreiten Strasse 13, D-53115 Bonn, Germany
    c West Africa Rice Dev. Assoc. (WARDA), 01 BP 2551 Bouaké 01, Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa
    d Cent. for Dev. Res. (ZEF), Walter-Flex-Str. 3, D-53113, Bonn, Germany


Rice (Oryza sativa L.) demand in West Africa is unmet because of insufficient production. Legume fixed N [biological N fixation (BNF)] may sustainably increase rice productivity in low-input systems. However, P deficiency limits BNF on the acid soils encountered in the region, despite the prevalence of phosphate rock (PR). Pot and field experiments were conducted in Côte d'Ivoire in 1996–1998 to study the impact of combined legume and PR on rice performance. Triple superphosphate and PR were applied at rates of 60 (pot) and at 90 (field) kg P ha−1 to rice and the legume Aeschynomene afraspera grown for 8 wk and then incorporated before rice transplanting. Legume fixed N was determined by 15N isotope dilution. Under field conditions, addition of PR doubled the biomass of A. afraspera Irrespective of P source, P application increased the amount of BNF-N (three- to eightfold) to 36 mg N plant−l in pots and to 84 kg N ha−1 in the field. Nitrogen derived from the air was correlated with legume P uptake (r = 0.97***, where *** = significant at the 0.001 level) and nodulation (r = 0.91**, where ** = significant at the 0.01 level). The synergy of PR and BNF on N and P cycling improved P nutrition and total biomass of subsequent lowland rice under pot conditions. Combining legume green manure (GM) with PR enhanced soil extractable Bray-1 P and may thus play an important role in improving the availability of PR. Under field conditions, due to asynchrony in GM nutrient release and demand, the impact of the combined GM–PR treatment on rice yield was minimal.

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