Growth of ten multipurpose tree species on acid soils in Sangmelima, Cameroon.
Ten multipurpose tree species were planted both in monoculture and intercropped with Arachis hypogaea (groundnuts) in a randomized complete block with three replications. The vigour, biomass, nutrient content, and coppicing percentage of the trees were evaluated. Intercropping with groundnuts during the establishment phase did not affect subsequent growth and development of the species. Acacia mangium, Acacia auriculiformis, Cassia siamea, Calliandra calothyrsus and Paraserianthes falcataria established well when compared with Gliricidia sepium, Leucaena leucocephala, Dialium guineense, Dubocia macrocarpa [Duboscia macrocarpa] and Milicia excelsa [Chlorophora excelsa]. A. mangium, A. auriculiformis, Calliandra calothyrsus, Cassia siamea and P. falcataria produced the highest leaf (4 to 20 t/ha) and wood (12-37 t/ha) biomass yields (primary growth) at 1-3 years after planting. Coppicing percentage of A. mangium, A. auriculiformis and P. falcataria were relatively low (35-50%). Calliandra calothyrsus and Cassia siamea showed the highest coppicing percentage (95-100%) and produced the greatest coppice biomass (9-13 t/ha). Total nitrogen and organic matter percentage of soils from under the stands of these two species were also significantly higher than that of the rest. The two species may thus be considered for use in agroforestry technologies for soil improvement on acid soils, which are typical of the moist tropics.