Impact of tree coppicing on tree-crop competition in parkland and alley farming systems in semiarid Burkina Faso.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of tree coppicing on tree-crop competition in farmed parkland and in alley farming, both in semiarid Burkina Faso. Azadirachta indica (neem) was studied in the parklands, while neem, Albizia lebbeck (albizia) and Leucaena leucocephala (leucaena) were investigated in the alley farming system. The crop was sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) in both cases. Under non-coppiced neem trees in the parkland, the sorghum yield at 0-3 m distance from the tree (under the tree canopy) was 82% of open field yields at 6-9 m distance, but the difference was not significant (p=0.07). Close to trees (0-3 m distance) which had been coppiced before planting, the sorghum yield was 148% of open field yields. In alley farming, early coppicing was superior; sorghum yields were highest close to trees coppiced early and lowest close to trees coppiced late.