Water and crop biomass dynamics in a Cassia siamea Lam. and Zea mays L. alley cropping system
Kanja, Francis Muriu
Master of Science
DisciplineForestry and the Forest Environment
MetadataShow full item record
Alley cropping is a crop production system in which food crops are grown in the alleys created by hedgerows of selected tree species, preferably legumes. The objective of this study was to model a Cassia /maize alley cropping system in the semi-arid district of Machakos in Kenya. The modelling was done with respect to the system's ground water dynamics as it affects its biomass production. First the dynamics of water in a bare soil was modelled, and then Cassia and maize were introduced separately and their biomass production modelled with respect to water. Finally, a combined Cass/a/maize/ground water model was build and analysed. The model suggests that water is a critical factor in the biomass production of Cassia and maize. The main achievement of this project has been to provide a starting point for a framework in which empirical research results can be integrated and interpreted in a more holistic manner.