African's using 'fertilizer trees' ?

Discussion in 'Plants: In the News' started by anza, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. anza

    anza Active Member 10 Years

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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Very uninformative page! Doesn't say what the trees are, nor give any reference details to the article describing the results.
     
  3. anza

    anza Active Member 10 Years

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    But then most "In The News" articles from various Magazines and other journals don't exactly give alot of details other than the usual appetizer fluff. Actually it does touch on it a bit with the honorable mention of a type of Acacia, which no doubt has good capability with nitrogen fixation with the help of beneficial bacteria. If you are familiar with the deserts southwest in North America, then think Mesquite, Paloverde, etc which are also in that pea family, these plants do exactly what those in Africa do. They fascilitate nitrogen into the soil. Their extremely deep roots pull up moisture from subsoils and redistribute it to other plants. They have the ability, even when dormant, to soak up as much excess surface water as possible and pump it deep into the subsoil layers.

    Indigneous farmers in South America have also been using some variety of Prosopis for just this type result. There also is another important factor here, though not mentioned in the article, though I've alluded to it above. It's the ability of these types of trees to pull water from deep in the earth to the surface and when it rains, take excess surface soil moisture and transplant it deep below ground for later use. The phenomena which should be studied far more than it is , actually has three terms in describing this are Hydraulic Life and Redistribution and also Hydraulic Descent. Pick your favouraite Tree/Shrub and GOOGLE it with any of the terms I've referenced here. You'll be amazed at how much research has actually been done, but very little of the public and literature deals with it.

    Here's yet another link from the World Agroforestry Centre referenced in the article. There is further deep information and list of potential tree species listed and they do get specific.

    Impact of Fertilizer Tree Fallows in Eastern Zambia


    I've noticed that this forum's members favourite tree appears to be various Maples. In temperate forests, Maples are the Kings of Hydraulic Lift and Redistribution of water. Add a healthy mycorrhizal grid underground for interconnecting various species of plants together and you've got a perfect engineered infrastructure system for a healthy forest.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011

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