Published on February 19, 2014
+ Oil palm and Agroforestry Systems: coupling yields with environmental services, an experiment in the Brazilian Amazon Andrew Miccolis ICRAF Brazil Authors: Miccolis, A., Vasconcelos, S., Castellani, D., Carvalho, V.; Kato, O.; Silva, A. Presented by: Jonathan Cornelius (ICRAF)
+ Conventional Monocrop vs. Diversified Oil Palm + Agroforestry Systems? Conventional oil palm monocrop system Oil palm + agroforestry experiment, Year 5, Tomé Açu, Pará, Brazil. Photo: Debora Castellani
+ Hypotheses Oil palm planted with agroforestry systems might provide significant increases in soil C stock and nutrient cycling through management practices, such as intensive pruning and mulching, and thus contribute to climate change mitigation Diversified oil palm agroforestry systems might provide a socially, economically and environmentally feasible alternative to monocrop systems in the context of smallholders
+ An experiment in Tomé-Açu, Pará State
+ Dendê Project: Oil palm + AFS Project Partners: NATURA (major Brazilian cosmetics company, EMBRAPA (Nat’l ag. Research agency, CAMTA (Tomé Açu Farmers’Cooperative), FINEP 3 Demonstration plots (6 ha each) = total 18 ha Oil palm + around 17 species in biodiverse systems
+ Oil Palm + AFS overall design: 3 x 6-hectare plots = total 18 ha Double rows oil palm (9 x 7.5m) + cacao intercropped between OP 4 main treatments per plot: Biodiverse = around 17 species/ha (+regrowth), wider spacing for AF strips (21 m) Fertilizing species (6-7 species/ha), focus on leguminous species, 15 m AF strips Rows of AFS (21, 18, 15 m), depending on plot and treatment Treatment definitions 1) “biodiverse” - mechanized preparation (TRITUCAP) 2) “biodiverse” - manual prep. 3) “fertilizing species” manual prep 4) fertilizing species mechanized preparation
+ Key species planted in AFS TREES açaí (Euterpe oleracea), cacao (Theobroma cacao), bacaba (Oenocarpus bacaba), ipê (Tabebuia spp.), jatobá (Hymenaea courbaril) and ucúuba (Virola surinamentis), pracaxi (Pentaclethra macroloba) gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium), ingá (Inga edulis), Bio-mass producing, (“Fertilizing”) species pig beans (Canavalia ensiformis), pidgeon peas (Cajan cajanus), mucuna (Mucuna cinereum), mexican sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia), puerária (Pueraria phaseoloides), banana (Musa sp), crotalaria (Crotalaria spectabilis), cassava (Manihot esculenta) Lianas Black pepper (Piper nigrum) Passionfruit (passiflora sp.)
+ Low Biodiversity Oil Palm AFS (T1) High Biodiversity Oil Palm AFS (T2) mecanical prep High Biodiversity Oil Palm AFS (T3) manual prep
+ Layout of biodiverse AFS + OP Source: Castellani (2011)
+ Land use history on Demonstration Plot: 10 yr old secondary growth used previously through conventional slash and burn for rice, cassava, maize, cowpeas Above-ground biomass: 55.3 +/- 0.9 Mg ha-1 Periodic fires Nutrient-deficient soils
+ Management techniques Removing (weeding) vegetation from around oil palm (3-5 times/year) Pruning/copacing of “fertilizing” species for mulching and sunlight for secondary species: cacao, açai palm, bacaba palm, black pepper Cut and carrying mulch around oil palm trees and secondary species (cocoa and others) Organic fertilization in planting holes and compost from CAMTA factory (mostly fruit residues) as mulch
+ Study methods: soil C stocks Calculated soil C stock in young (3-yr old) oil palm + AFS on one 6-ha plot Soil samples under: high biodiversity (T1 and T2) low biodiversity (T3) and different land preparation methods (mechanized vs. manual) 5 randomly selected plots (22.5 x 18m for AFS + oil palm), covering 2 rows of OP and 1 row of AFS
+ Study methods: soil C stocks Soil samples taken August 2010 (yr 3): 0-5, 5-10, 10-20, 20-30, and 30-50 cm, using auger probes. Samples from different positions in OP + AFS: (a) under oil palm canopy, (b) in-between oil palm trees, and (c) from AFS area. Soil from Conventional AFS and Secondary Growth forest sampled without a defined spatial pattern. Composite samples of three soil cores taken at random for each combination of treatment, sampling position, and depth. All samples air-dried, ground, and passed through 2-mm sieve. About 120 g of each sieved sample was used for particle size and chemical analyses (Embrapa 1997).
+ Reference areas compared 1) 10-15 yr old adjacent secondary growth forest; Average canopy height: 15m Average density: 520 trees ha-1(>10cm DAB) 2) 9 yr old “conventional” agroforestry system (w/out oil palm) Replaced black pepper monoculture 20x20m plots in these 2 reference areas
+ Preliminary findings: Soil carbon stocks Soil Carbon Stocks in 3 systems conventional AFS 10-15 yr regrowth AF + OIL PALM 0 Series 1 10 AF + OIL PALM 73.5 20 30 40 10-15 yr regrowth 60 Obs: AF+ Oil Palm: 71-76 Mg C ha-1 Source: Carvalho et al 2014 (in print) 50 60 70 conventional AFS 57 80
+ Overview - other key findings Oil palm yields (FFB) OP + AFS greater than monocrop OP at same age (4.5 yrs) under similar conditions Plot 1 (81 pl/ha) Plot 2 (99 pl/ha) Plot 3 (99 pl/ha) 8 tons ha-1 yr-1 6.4 tons 8.7 tons OBS: Data based on actual harvests in year 4. Monocrop oil palm around 143 pl/ha. Avg. yields: 5 tons ha-1 yr-1 (yr 4) Source: Castellani et al 2013 Biodiversity indicators Greater plant species diversity in OP+AFS than in monocrop OP around same age (3yrs) (Kato et al 2011) Greater bird species diversity and richness indices (Thom et al 2011) than in monocrop systems at same age (3yrs)
+ Andrew Miccolis comments: “Although we don’t have direct evidence yet, intensive slash and mulch (coupled with organic fertilization techniques), leading to improved soil properties and fertility is probably responsible for this astonishingly higher productivity per plant at this age. OBS: Monocrop oil palm around 143 pl/ha. Avg. yields: 5-6 tons ha-1 yr-1 (YR 4) according to literature from Brazil”
+ Conclusions (preliminary) Oil palm + Agroforestry systems outperformed adjacent secondary growth and conventional agroforestry systems in C stocks Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) stood out among “fertilizing species”, provided very high nutrient contents (dry mass) under these conditions, met design criteria (pruning frequency, biomass production) Use of fertilizing species through pruning and mulching reduced inputs and helped increase oil palm yields and c stocks Preliminary data (soil C, nutrient, yields) suggests oil palm + AFS might be more sustainable alternative to monocrop systems and play important role in climate change mitigation, recovering degraded lands Need for more research to draw direct linkages between management practices and nutrient cycling, c stocks,
+ Thank you!
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