Biomass Production of Prosopis species (Mesquite), Leucaena, and Other Leguminous Trees Grown Under Heat/Drought Stress

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Leguminous trees were examined for use on hot/arid lands in field trials in the California Imperial Valley where July daily maximum temperatures are 42°C (108°F). Two field trials were carried out to rank 55 accessions in biomass per tree and to evaluate biomass production per unit area with four of the more productive accessions identified in earlier trials. The trial with 55 accessions compared Prosopis (mesquite) to widely recommended species for arid lands such as Leucaena leucocephala (K-8), Parkinsonia aculeata, and Prosopis tamarugo and to other drought adapted tree legume species of California/Arizona deserts such as Cercidium floridium and Olneya tesota. Prosopis selections were identified that had greater productivity than either Leucaena leucocephala (K-8) or Parkinsonia aculeata. The mean ovendry biomass per accession ranged from 0.2 kg/tree for Prosopis tamarugo to 29 kg/tree for P. alba (0166) when measured 2 years from germination in the greenhouse. Clones were obtained from trees in this trial which had 45-56 kg/tree (ovendry) in two seasons. The plots designed to measure biomass production per unit area were on a 1.5 m spacing and had productivities of 7, 11.2, 14.3, and 14.5 ovendry T ha-1 yr-1 for P. glandulosa var torreyana (0001), P. alba (0163), P. chilensis (0009), and P. alba (0039), respectively, when measured 2 years from germination in the greenhouse. Forest Sci. 29:592-606.

Keywords: Cercidium fioridium; Leucaena leucocephala; Olneya tesota; Parkinsonia aculeata; agroforestry; arid lands; desertification; fuelwood

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521

Publication date: September 1, 1983

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