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Quantitative and qualitative attributes of Aloe vera Linn. grown under Melia composita Willd. and sole cropping systems

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Quantitative and Qualitative Attributes of Aloe vera Linn. Grown
under Melia composita Willd. and Sole Cropping Systems
Indian Journal of Ecology (2017) 44 (Special Issue-5): 451-455
Manuscript Number: 93
NAAS Rating: 4.96
Abstract: Aloe vera intercropped with M. composita resulted in better aloe growth, yield and other qualitative characters as compared to sole
-1
aloe cropping system. Maximum plant height, number of mature leaf, total number of leaves plant , mature leaf length, width at base and
middle and mature leaf thickness were recorded under closely spaced M. composita than wider spaced M. composita as well as sole aloe
cropping system. The growth of Aloe vera showed decreasing trend with increased space in M. composita. The fresh and dry biomass
-1
parameters of aloe viz., above ground, total, mature leaf, gel, leaf peel and aloin plant were significantly higher under closely spaced M.
composita than others, however, such variation was negligible for below ground fresh biomass. The fresh and dry biomass yield per plant
decreased significantly with increase in spacing of M. composita. Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry of gel detected different phyto-
chemicals The overall findings of this study substantiate that integration of Aloe vera under closely spaced M.composita based silvi-medicinal
.
-1
systems proved beneficial in terms of better aloe growth and yield plant and also showed positive tree-crop interface. Thus, Meliacomposita+
Aloe vera based silvi-medicinal system is suggested to adopt in the humid tropical climatic condition.
Keywords: Agroforestry, Aloe vera, Meliacomposita, Silvi-medicinal system
D.J. Jilariya, N.S. Thakur* and R.P. Gunaga
College of Forestry, Navsari Agricultural University, Navsari-396 450, India
*E-mail: drnsthakur74@gmail.com
Evaluation of suitable crop-tree combination for various
climatic conditions is one of the major tasks of agroforestry
research that needs to be given priority for betterment of farm
community in favour of economic, ecological and social
benefits (Chauhan and Ritu, 2005).Identification of suitable
agricultural and horticultural crops, which can grow well
along with tree species with limited solar energy available
underneath the trees is necessary. The choice of intercrop
depends on characteristics of particular tree species like root
system, canopy architecture, allelopathic effect of litter and
other technical factors viz. edapho-climatic conditions
(Batish et al., 2007). Many agricultural and cash crops are
traditionally grown and many of them have been tested under
agroforestry with both positive and negative interactions.
Presently, medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) are being
advocated as suitable under storey crops due to their shade
loving nature (Dhillon et al., 2009, 2010; Sujatha et al., 2011;
Suvera et al., 2015). In addition, commercially important,
MAPs have been successfully intercropped with fuel wood
and timber and fruit yielding tree based agroforestry systems
(Thakur et al., 2014; Verma and Thakur, 2011; Suvera et al.,
2015; Kumar et al., 2016).
Aloe vera Linn. is one of the commercially important
medicinal plants. Since this plant can utilize poor farmlands
and therefore, it facilitate the rural development, especially in
marginal areas (Liontakis and Tzouramani, 2016).
Therefore, suitable land use system need to be identified for
its commercial cultivation. Under this situation, growing Aloe
vera under agroforestry systems would be a viable option,
which may provide favourable condition for growth and yield.
Thus, the present study was intended to intercrop Aloe vera
under Melia composite
with the objectives to find out the best tree-crop combination
with respect to spatial arrangement of Melia composita.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
The present investigation was carried out in the ASPEE
College of Horticulture and Forestry, Navsari Agricultural
University, Navsari from 2015 to 2016. Geographically,
Navsari is situated at 20.95N latitude, 75.90E longitude at an
altitude of 10 m above the mean sea level. Aloe vera was
intercropped under 2 year old Melia composite spaced at 2x2
m, 3x2 m and 4x2 m (Table 1).
The experiment was conducted in randomized block
design with four treatments, T [Melia composita (2x2 m) +
1
Willd. (synonym Melia dubia Cav.)
Treatments/Land use systems Height
(m)
Girth
(cm)
Crown spread
(m)
North-
South
East-
West
T [M. composita (2×2 m)+Aloe vera]
1 5.77 21.3 1.91 2.02
T [ ]
2 M. composita (3×2 m)+Aloe vera 5.96 22.7 2.07 2.13
T [ ]
3 M. composita (4×2 m)+Aloe vera 7.49 26.2 2.11 2.13
Table 1. Growth attributes of Melia composita trees in silvi-
medicinal systems
Aloe vera], T [Melia composita (3x2 m) + Aloe vera], T [Melia
2 3
composita (4x2 m) + Aloe vera] and T (Aloe vera sole). Here,
4
the agroforestry system so formed was named as silvi-
medicinal system (Melia composita + Aloe vera) and sole
cropping refers to growing of Aloe vera in open land (without
tree rows). Aloe vera seedlings were planted at 50 x 30 cm
apart under each treatment following furrow and ridge
system. Standard agro-techniques as mentioned by Das and
Chattopadhay (2004) and Biswas (2010) were followed to
manage the aloe crop. Soil sample collected from silvi-
medicinal and sole cropping system were used for estimation
-1
of available N,P O and K O (kg ha ) for further interpretation
2 5 2
(Table 2). Various growth and leaf quality parameters of Aloe
-1
vera such as plant height, number of leaves plant , leaf
length, leaf width, leaf thickness, fresh biomass, fresh gel,
-1
leaf peel and aloin plant were recorded after harvesting the
crop at 10 months. The phytochemical profiling of gel was
don e with gas chromatography /mass spectrometry
(GC/MS). Samples were extracted with hexane on soxhlet
appar atus (L akshmi and Rajalakshm i, 2011). The
identification of phyto-chemicals was done on peak area and
molecular weight basis.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Growth of Aloe vera: The growth attributes of Aloe vera
were significantly affected by Melia composita-Aloe vera
based silvi-medi ci nal and sole cropping systems.
Significantly higher plant height, number of mature leaf, total
-1
number of leaves plant , mature leaf length, leaf width and
mature leaf thickness were recorded under silvi-medicinal
systems as compared to sole cropping system of aloe (Table
3). Among three different spatial arrangements, maximum
growth was recorded in M. composita spaced at 2×2 m than
spatial arrangement of 3x2 m and 4x2 m (Table 3). There was
no significant effect of spatial arrangement of M. composita
on number of small leaves, small leaf length, width at base,
width at middle and small leaf thickness. The growth of Aloe
vera decreased with increase in M. composita spacing;
however, minimum values for growth were recorded in sole
grown aloe.
-1
Biomass of Aloe vera (kg plant ): The fresh and dry
biomass of above ground, total plant, mature leaf, gel, leaf
peel and aloin of Aloe vera were significantly higher under M.
composita spaced at 2×2 m than other spatial arrangement
(Table 4), however, there was null effect on below ground
fresh biomass. The fresh and dry biomass yield decreased
significantly with increase in M. composita spacing and these
values were minimum for sole grown aloe. The better growth
and yield of Aloe vera under closer spacing of M. composita
indicates the positive interface both above and below ground.
Significantly maximum above ground fresh biomass (1.36 kg
-1 -1
plant ), total fresh biomass (1.41 kg plant ), fresh mature leaf
-1 -1
biomass (1.10 kgplant ), fresh aloe gel yield (0.66 kg plant )
and fresh leaf peel (0.44 kg plant) of Aloe vera were recorded
under M. composita (2x2 m)-aloe silvi-medicinal system and
Parameter Silvi-medicinal system Sole cropping Method
T1T2T3T4
-1
Available N (kg ha ) 235.2 219.52 232.06 216.38 Subbiah and Asija (1956)
-1
Available P O (kg ha )
2 5 34.47 36.24 30.00 30.53 Olsen et al.(1954)
-1
Available K O (kg ha )
2320.5 290.69 325.25 304.92 Jackson (1973)
Soil pH (1:2.5 soil: water ratio) 7.54 7.78 7.94 7.43 Jackson (1973)
Organic carbon (%) 0.87 0.87 0.89 0.86 Jackson (1973)
Table 2. Physico-chemical properties of soil (0-30 cm depth) in silvi-medicinal and sole cropping systems
T [M. composita (2×2 m)+Aloe vera]; T [M. composita (3×2 m)+Aloe vera]; T [M. composita (4×2 m)+Aloe vera]; T (Sole cropping
1 2 3 4
Land use Plant
height
(cm)
No. of
small
leaves
-1
plant
No. of
mature
leaves
-1
plant
Total
no. of
leaves
-1
plant
Leaf parameter of small leaf (cm) Leaf parameter of mature leaf (cm)
Length Width
at
base
Width
at
middle
Thickness Length Width
at
base
Width
at
middle
Thickness
T152.89 3.09 7.38 10.47 11.27 1.77 1.41 0.71 38.08 6.07 4.52 1.37
T242.08 2.78 6.03 8.81 11.10 1.74 1.37 0.69 32.78 5.35 4.20 1.24
T339.93 2.73 5.23 7.96 10.99 1.69 1.33 0.67 30.25 4.94 3.96 1.18
T434.07 2.68 4.82 7.50 10.18 1.59 1.21 0.66 27.33 4.40 3.59 1.11
CD (p=0.05) 7.03 NS 0.68 1.36 NS NS NS NS 4.55 0.67 0.42 0.11
Table 3. Growth performance of Aloe vera under Melia composita based silvi-medicinal and sole cropping systems
T [M. composita (2×2 m)+Aloe vera]; T [M. composita (3×2 m)+Aloe vera]; T [M. composita (4×2 m)+Aloe vera]; T (Sole cropping
1 2 3 4
452 D.J. Jilariya, N.S. Thakur and R.P. Gunaga
minimum was recorded from sole crop. Below ground fresh
biomass of Aloe vera under different land use systems of M.
composita and sole crop system did not bear any significant
difference (Table 4).
The better growth and yield of Aloe vera under M.
composita may be attributed to partial shade, available
nutrients and space provided. The low light intensity under
silvi-medicinal systems may have also resulted in more
nitrogen supply to plants through water absorption which
might have increased the vegetative growth (Ravindran and
Kulandaivelu, 1998 and Singh et al., 1997). Intercrops under
agroforestry, due to shade effect, produce larger leaves,
higher leaf area and more number of leaves in order to
capture more light and this may probably be due to shade
avoidance mechanism (Ballare, 1999). Lower light
conditions favour the vegetative growth than reproductive
growth (Pooter and Oliver, 2000). Increased plant height, leaf
area, number of branches/leaves of many medicinal and
aromatic plants have been reported under agroforestry as
result of favourable effect of shade (Pathiratna, 2004;
Khawlhring, 2011; Suvera et al., 2015).
The soil nutrient status of land use systems also plays an
important role in plant growth, especially available nitrogen.
The difference in soil nutrient status may be ascribed to more
plant growth under M. composita (2×2 m)-aloe silvi-medicinal
systems as compared aloe intercropped under M. composita
spaced at 3×2 m or 4×2 m and sole cropping in present
Land use system Fresh biomass (kg/plant) Fresh yield of different plant component
Above
ground
Below
ground
Total
(whole plant)
Mature leaf
-1
(kg plant )
Gel (kg
-1
plant )
Leaf peel (kg
-1
plant )
Aloin
-1
(g plant )
T11.36 0.04 1.41 1.10 0.66 0.44 7.58
T20.95 0.03 0.99 0.82 0.49 0.33 4.08
T30.85 0.03 0.89 0.73 0.44 0.24 3.54
T40.48 0.03 0.51 0.38 0.19 0.20 3.20
CD (p=0.05) 0.23 NS 0.23 0.20 0.12 0.08 0.68
-1
Table 4. Fresh biomass and economic yield of Aloe vera (kg plant ) grown under Melia composite based silvi-medicinal and
sole cropping systems
Land use system -1
Dry biomass (kg/plant ) Dry yield of different plant component
Above ground Below ground Total
(whole plant)
Mature leaf
-1
(kg/plant )
Gel (kg/
-1
plant )
Leaf peel
-1
(kg/plant )
Aloin
-1
(g/plant )
T10.06 0.011 0.072 0.049 0.012 0.037 0.65
T20.042 0.011 0.052 0.037 0.009 0.027 0.32
T30.038 0.011 0.048 0.032 0.008 0.024 0.26
T40.021 0.009 0.031 0.017 0.004 0.014 0.24
CD (p=0.05) 0.011 0.001 0.011 0.009 0.002 0.007 0.08
-1
Table 5. Dry biomass and economic yield of Aloe vera (kg plant ) grown under Melia composite based silvi-medicinal and sole
cropping systems
investigation (Table 2).The leaf fall from trees fertilize the soil,
whereas, shade increased the soil moisture content than
open (Anonymous, 2008). Generally, growing nitrogen fixing
trees on the farm bund improved the soil fertility in the alley.
Such soil fertility improvement under agroforestry systems
due to tree component have been attributed to enhanced
inter plant/crop growth (Chaudhry et al., 2007; Suvera et al.,
2015).Tewari et al. (2015) have reported 64 to 82 tonnes
fresh yield of Aloe vera inter cropped under bamboo based
agroforestry systems, which falls within the range obtained in
the present study. Better growth performance of Aloe vera
under fruit and timber tree based agroforestry systems have
also been reported by Bari and Rahim (2010). Similarly,
increased plant height, number of leaves and fresh yield of
Aloe vera have been recorded under Acacia mangium and
Gmelina arborea (Nayak et al., 2014). Islam et al. (2013) also
showed such positive trend in guava-aloe and Dalbergia
sissoo-aloe based agroforestry systems.
Superior growth attributes, under silvi-medicinal
systems in present investigation, may be borne out to the
fact that experiment was carried out in early growth stage (2
year old) of M. composita, which favoured the growth of
aloe. Partial shade provided by M. composita might have
had positive effect on growth. Similar syn er getic
association have been observed under medicinal and
aromatic plants and cereal crops based agroforestry
systems (Singh et al.,2008; Ravitchandirane and Haripriya,
453
Quantitative and Qualitative Attributes of Aloe vera Linn.
Phytochemical Chemical
abstract
serial no.
Mole-
cular
weight
Area under curve
M. composita
(2x2 m)-A. vera
M. composita
(3x2 m)-A. vera
M. composita
(4x2 m)-A. vera
Sole
(A. vera)
+(-salsolidine) 54193-08-7 207 2101548 (37.87) 1411902 (44.95) 2532753
(51.17)
727216
(45.11)
1-hexadecanol (Cetyle alcohol) 36653-82-4 242 542642
(9.78)
414377
(13.19)
874365 (17.67) 180836
(11.22)
n-propyl tetradecanoate (Myristic acid) - 284 28075
(0.51)
194490
(6.19)
277010 (5.60) 30145 (1.87)
Cyclopentane, 1, 2-dipropyl 91242-57-8 154 529896
(9.55)
355012
(11.30)
765069 (15.46) 149043
(9.25)
5-triazole, 3ethyl 7411-16-7 97 11103
(0.20)
6818
(0.22)
15976
(0.32)
3150 (0.20)
3-dibenzofuranamine,2-methoxy 5834-17-3 213 1501
(0.03)
832
(0.03)
464
(0.01)
267
(0.02)
2-butyl-1-octanol 3913-02-8 186 5611
(0.10)
3481
(0.11)
9367
(0.19)
1185 (0.07)
Hexahydro-farnesol 6750-34-1 228 22900
(0.41)
13979
(0.45)
30987
(0.63)
18048 (1.12)
1-butanol, 2[[4-(1,1-dimethylethyl)- 2,6-
dinitrophenyl]amino]
55702-39-1 311 - 528937
(16.84)
443315 (8.96) 502107
(31.15)
Trans-decahydroquinoline 767-92-0 139 6511
(0.12)
- - -
(4-methyl phenyl)-methanethiol diacetate 2929-93-3 222 152877
(2.75)
- - -
4-acetyloxyimino-6-6 dimethyl-3-methyl
sulfanyl-4-5,6,7 tetrahydro-
- 341 2147194 (38.69) - - -
4-methyldecane 2847-72-5 156 - 3481
(0.11)
- -
2-furaldehyde, 5(hydroxymethyl) 67-47-0 126 - 60514
(1.93)
- -
Dihydrocurcumine 1461-02-5 204 - 41489
(1.32)
- -
Ergosta-5-en-3, 25 diol 56362-42-6 416 - 105507
(3.36)
- -
Table 6. Phyto-chemicals identified through GC-MS analysis in aloe gel from aloe intercropped under different
silvi-medicinal and sole cropping systems
M. composita -
A.vera
Figures in parenthesis are peak area per cent
2011; Singh et al., 2016).
Phytochemical profiling of Aloe vera: There was a great
influence of silvi-medicinal system with spatial arrangement
as well as sole cropping system on phytochemical content in
aloe gel (Table 6). Total 11, 13, 9 and 9 different phyto-
chemicals were identified in gel extract from different
treatments viz., M. composita (2x2 m) + Aloe, M. composita
(3x2 m) + Aloe, M. composita (4x2 m) + Aloe and sole aloe
crop, respectively. The gel samples from closely spaced M.
composita treatments (2x2 and 3x2 m) resulted in more
number of phytochemicals as compared to widely spaced M.
composita plantation and sole aloe cropping. There is scanty
information available on this aspect. More number of
phytochemicals derived from Aloe intercropped under
closely spaced M. composita could be due to partial shade
provided closer space (Table 1) than wider space and open
condition. The intensity of light on plant in addition to the
photosynthetic activities determines the extent to which
phytochemicals can be produced (Nasrullahzadeh et al.,
2007). The beneficial effect of partial shade on crop yield and
phytochemical derivatives in aloe gel needs further
investigations. The overall study shows that feasibility of
Melia composita-Aloe vera based Silvi-medicinal system in
humid tropical condition, where Aloe intercropped under
Melia composita at closer spacing (2x 2 m and 2 x3 m)
resulted in higher growth, biomass and quality of Aloe vera
gel as compared to wider spacing of M. composita and sole
cropping of Aloe vera. Therefore, this tree-crop combination
at lower spacing is suggested for adaptation in the farmer
field under humid tropical condition.
454 D.J. Jilariya, N.S. Thakur and R.P. Gunaga
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Received 10 May, 2017; Accepted 14 July, 2017
455
Quantitative and Qualitative Attributes of Aloe vera Linn.
... It is a multipurpose tree, commonly known as Malabar neem or Burma neem. It is valued for its quality timber used for furniture, agricultural implements and house construction, as alternative pulp wood species, fuel wood and leaf used as a fodder (Parthiban et al., 2009;Jilariya et al., 2017). M. dubia is being planted under industrial agroforestry models and is an amenable agroforestry (Mohanty et al., 2017;Jilariya et al., 2017) without any deleterious effect on under-storey crops (Thakur et al., 2017a,b;Kumar et al., 2017;Parmar et al., 2019). ...
... It is valued for its quality timber used for furniture, agricultural implements and house construction, as alternative pulp wood species, fuel wood and leaf used as a fodder (Parthiban et al., 2009;Jilariya et al., 2017). M. dubia is being planted under industrial agroforestry models and is an amenable agroforestry (Mohanty et al., 2017;Jilariya et al., 2017) without any deleterious effect on under-storey crops (Thakur et al., 2017a,b;Kumar et al., 2017;Parmar et al., 2019). It has been observed that dear, goat and cattle rapaciously browse the fallen drupes of M. dubia. ...
... Besides an important industrial tree species, it has also ecological importance like soil enrichment, afforestation and phytoremediation (Nuthan et al., 2009); medicinal uses (Malarvannan et al., 2009;Yasodha et al., 2011), fruit pulp as livestock feed (Sukhadiya et al., 2019. It is also proven to be the most compatible agroforestry tree species amenable with different understorey crops (Jilariya et al., 2017;Thakur et al., 2018;Thakur et al., 2019a;Mohanty et al., 2019) with transient or no allelopathic effect on intercrops (Kumar et al., 2017;Thakur et al., 2017a&b;Parmar et al., 2019). ...
... Similar findings were put forth by Khan and Chaudhary (2007) in Populus deltoids, Thakur et al., (2019b) and Jilariya et al., (2017) in M. dubia. The overall divergence in the volume and biomass were due to the tree numbers in lesser spacings which directly affected total yield in both terms. ...
... The height, DBH, volume and biomass were more in M. dubia planted at 3×3 m in sole plantations as well as silvi-medicinal systems. The greater DBH and increased height may be attributed to wider spacings and more availability of light, water and nutrients resulting in increase in crown size, leaf area and synthesis of carbohydrates and hormonal growth regulators (Nissen et al. 2001;Jilariya 2017;Thakur et al. 2018). ...
... This reveals that growth is function of age, spacing and site quality (Nissen et al. 2001). Similar inferences have been drawn by Khan and Chaudhary (2007) and Jilariya (2017). ...
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The experiment was conducted in randomized block design with 15 treatments (land use systems). Maximum height (3.4 m) and diameter (4.06 cm), at intercrop planting was recorded in sole plantation of M. dubia at 4×4 m spacing and at final harvest, it was maximum (7.7 m) in M. dubia planted at 3×3 m spacing. However, maximum DBH (8.24 cm) was recorded in sole plantation spaced at 4×4 m. Height (4.6 m) and DBH (4.42 cm) increment was registered maximum under sole plantation of M. 3 dubia at 3×3 m spacing. Maximum volume (41.25 m /ha) and biomass increment (17.41 Mg/ha) was recorded in M. dubia (3×3m) sole. The study indicated that there was significant difference in tree height due intercropping of Cymbopogon spp. (silvi-medicinal systems). The maximum height increment was attained under M. dubia (3×3 m) (either sole or silvi-medicinal system). There was significant effect of Cymbopogon intercropping on DBH of M. dubia trees as evident from the increment in height. Minimum growth attributes were in closer spacing of M. dubia (2×2 m). The increment (difference in volume or biomass/tree at intercrop planting and at harvest) in volume and biomass show that intercropping has significant effect on growth and yield of M. dubia.
... Okra crop (OV 1-GAO-5 and OV 2 -GJO-3) was intercropped with M. composita reported lower growth parameters as well lower yield as compared to open condition. The results of pooled analysis of two years shown that treatment T 2 -S 0 OV 2 recorded maximum plant height-106.38 order to utilize the interspaces in early stages in closer spacing and wider spacing even in later stages of plantation development the selection of the crops for intercropping is important (Verma et al., 2010;Thakur et al., 2011;Thakur and Verma, 2012;Thakur et al., 2014;Jilariya et al., 2017;. ...
... Recently in agricultural land a large scale plantations are done for the pulpwood and paper industry which necessitated the intercropping of agricultural crops under the M. composita. Many medicinal and aromatic crops have been found to perform well under M. dubia plantations (Jilariya et al., 2017;Mohanty et al., 2017; and other vegetable and pulse crops are yet be examined. To maximize the land utilization an agroforestry trial was laid to investigate the performance of okra varieties under different spatial arrangements of 2 year old M. composita plantation. ...
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Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L. Moench) is an important vegetable crop and Melia composita (Malabar Neem or Nimabaro) is emerging industrial agroforestry plantations in southern Gujarat. To maximize the land utilization an agroforestry trial was laid to investigate the performance of okra varieties under different spatial arrangements of 2 year old Melia composita plantation with three spacing of S1 (2x2 m), S2 (2x3 m) and S3 (4x2 m) while S0 as open field at College of Forestry, ACHF, Navsari Agricultural University, Navsari, Gujarat, India, during winter season of 2015-16 and 2016-17. Okra crop (OV1- GAO-5 and OV2- GJO-3) was intercropped with M. composita reported lower growth parameters as well lower yield as compared to open condition. The results of pooled analysis of two years shown that treatment T2-S0OV2 recorded maximum plant height- 106.38 cm, number of branches per plants- 4.68, number of leaves per plants- 36.68, number of flower per plant -26.07, average number of fruits per plant- 22.75, fresh fruit yield per plant- 302.71g and per hectare- 13.62 tonnes in open condition followed by OV1 variety. Similarly in intercropping the growth and yield attributes of Okra were minimum height - 85.74 cm, number of branches per plants - 3.59, number f leaves per plant- 25.06, number of flower per plant - 13.27, average number of pod per plant - 16.02, fresh fruit yield per plant- 268.89g and per hectare- 12.10 tonnes were reported in T3 (S1OV1) i.e. in 2x2 m closer spacing while under wider spacing of S2 and S3 okra responded significantly better respectively. Hence wider spacing of S3 (4x2 m) can be suggested for intercropping under M. composita plantations in initial 2-4 years.
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Melia dubia commonly known as 'Malabar neem' is a fast growing tree species, naturally distributed mainly in moist deciduous forest of India. Because of its various utilities, research institutes have developed varieties and clones for uniform growth and higher productivity. The present study was conducted at Tropical Forest Research Institute, Jabalpur during 2019-21, aimed to evaluate growth performance of M. dubia varieties under Agroforestry system with Cajanus cajan as an intercrop. Study revealed that, growth performance of M. dubia (sole plantation) showed maximum height increment in Amar var. (T4-317.33 cm) followed by Kartik var. (T3-200.00 cm), Bahumukhi var. (T2-169.33 cm) while minimum height increment was found in Varsha var. (T5-77.83 cm), similarly under Agroforestry system maximum height increment was found in Amar var. (T4-325.33 cm) followed by Kartik var. (T3-210.00 cm), and Kshitiz var. (T7-162.33 cm) and, the minimum height increment was found in Bahumukhi var. (T6-91.67 cm) and the grain yield of C. cajan was 0.616 t ha-1 in intercropping as compared to sole crop (1.51 t ha-1). INTRODUCTION Melia dubia Cav. is one of the fast growing tree species commonly known as 'Malabar neem' belongs to family Meliaceae, distributed in moist deciduous forest of Indian states of Tamil Nadu [16], Karnataka and Kerala, [15] etc. M. dubia found to be an alternative raw material for pulp and paper industries due to its increased pulp recovery and special vigor of paper [16]. Apart from this, M. dubia having mechanical properties, suitable for plywood industry and dendro energy values required for biomass based power generation [20]. Besides an important industrial tree species, it has also having ecological importance like soil enrichment, afforestation and bioremediation [15] and medicinal uses [13 & 23]. It is also verified to be the most attuned agroforestry tree species, compatible with different underneath crops [9] with no allelopathic effect on intercrops [11]. Due to its multiple uses in plywood, pulp wood and other wood based industry and cottage industries along with its fast growth and adaptability to varied agro-climatic conditions of the country, M. dubia is also known as the money spinning tree of short rotation [7]. In the first year of plantation green gram, black gram, chilli and turmeric can be successfully raised as intercrop, intercropping with leguminous crop will also enhance the soil nutrient status, the side suckers of Melia can be used as Raton crop after harvesting at 5 years of age [6]. Agroforestry is any sustainable land-use system that maintains or increases total yield by combining food crops (annuals) with tree crops (perennials) and/or livestock on the same unit of land, either alternately or at the same time using management practices that suit the social and cultural characteristics of the local people and the economic and ecological conditions of the area [19]. [22], conducted study to evaluate the performance of M. dubia with Cymbopogon based Agroforestry system and found maximum height of 3.4 m and diameter of 4.06 cm in sole plantation of M. dubia planted at 4m x 4m spacing and there was significant effect of Cymbopogon spp. on height of M. dubia.
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An experiment, on effect of tree-crop combinations and nitrogen levels on economic returns from Mucuna pruriens L. based Agroforestry Systems, was carried out during 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 in experimental farm of Department of Silviculture and Agroforestry, Dr. Y. S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan, Himachal Pradesh. M. pruriens was grown in association with Prunus persica (Peach), Grewia optiva, Morus alba and Setaria sphacelata. Three nitrogen doses applied to M. pruriens were 40, 80 and 120 kg/ha. The net returns were calculated on financial (farmer’s land) and economic (rented land) basis. Mucuna seeds accrued maximum net financial returns of Rs. 20436/ha and 20286/ha, grown in association with Grewia and Setaria and Peach and Setaria, respectively. Application of nitrogen level from 40, 80 to 120 kg per hectare increased the yield of seed and hence the net returns giving maximum at 120 kg N/ha. Peach and setaria under Peach + Setaria + M. pruriens system gave maximum net returns to the tune of Rs. 38328/ha, followed by Peach, Morus and Setaria (Peach + Morus + Setaria + M. pruriens) giving Rs. 37052/ha. Total net financial returns from all components were maximum (Rs. 58614/ha) from Peach + Setaria + M. pruriens followed by Peach + Morus + Setaria + M. pruriens amounting to Rs. 56889/ha. Sole crop accrued minimum net returns (Rs. 20286/ha). The benefit cost ratio (B:C ratio) was maximum (2.41) for Peach + Setaria + M. pruriens, followed by Morus + Setaria + M. pruriens, whereas, sole crop of Mucuna gave minimum B:C ratio of 1.77. Thus, the net returns from Agroforestry Systems were higher as compared to sole crop. The nitrogen application increased the yield and hence net returns from intercrop also had similar effect. Thus, fruit based systems gave higher returns per rupee investment as compared to fodder based systems on farmer’s own land as well as if the entrepreneur is practicing these systems on rented land.
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Investigations on effect of tree-crop combinations and nitrogen levels on growth, yield and withanolides content and yield of Withania somnifera L. Dunal were carried out during 2005-2006 and 2006-2007, in mid hills of Himachal Pradesh (India). W. somnifera was grown in association with Prunus persica (fruit), Grewia optiva, Morus alba (fodder) and Setaria sphacelata (grass). The distinctive tree-crop combinations (agroforestry systems) formed were Peach + Grewia + Setaria + W. somnifera, Peach + Morus + Setaria + W. somnifera, Peach + Setaria + W. somnifera, Grewia + Setaria + W. somnifera, Morus + Setaria + W. somnifera and W. somnifera as sole crop. Three nitrogen doses, viz. 40, 80 and 120 kg/ha were applied to W. somnifera. The plant height and leaf area of ashwagandha plants was not affected by tree-crop combinations. The nitrogen dose of 120 kg/ha resulted in maximum height (44.55 cm) and leaf area (17.76 cm 2/leaf). Leaf area index was maximum (0.97) for plants grown in association with Peach+Grewia+Setaria. Belowground, aboveground and total biomass yield was not affected significantly by various tree-crop combinations. It ranged from 3.23 to 3.91, 2.30 to 2.63 and 5.53 to 6.46 q/ha, respectively. The N dose 120 kg/ha gave significantly higher below, aboveground and total biomass yield to the tune of 5.23, 3.37 and 8.60 q/ha, respectively. Withanolide content in roots varied from 0.73 to o.79 per cent but was not affected due to different treecrop combinations and nitrogen doses.