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The potential of Australian dry zone acacias for agroforestry in Malawi

, : The potential of Australian dry zone acacias for agroforestry in Malawi. Forest Ecology & Management 56(1-4): 83-97

Australian dry zone Acacia auriculiformis, A. crassicarpa, A. holosericea and A. leptocarpa were identified as poterntial agroforestry tree species for dryland areas in Malawi. In order to evaluate place-of-origin variations for these acacias, further trials were established on four sites between 1989 and 1990. When assessed for survival, growth and density at age 1-2 years, the best species were A. auriculiformis (15,666 and 15,985), A. crassicarpa (13,683), A. holosericea (14,632) and A. leptocarpa (14,139). Therefore, these species and their palces of origin have shown the greatest potential for use in agroforestry and other afforestation programmes in Malawi. Foliar analysis showed no significant variations in nutrient concentrations betwene the Acacia species and/or their places of origin. Assessment of the coppicing ability of the acacias subjected to various cutting treatments indicated that selective cutting (30 cm above ground) at the beginning of the wet season, and leaving at least one viable branch per stump, produced the best coppice results with most acacias. Coppice growth was, however, generally poor with all the acacias, an indication that they may not be the most suitable species for alley cropping agroforestry system. However, the high biomass produced by the acacias in the present study indicate great potential for use in improved fallows and other agroforestry systems.


DOI: 10.1016/0378-1127(93)90105-V

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