Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Growth and biomass production of Tecomella undulata as affected by rain water harvesting and conservation practices in arid zone.

Abstract

A field experiment was conducted in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, to investigate the influence of different rain water harvesting and moisture conservation practices on soil moisture storage, growth and biomass production of Tecomella undulata, an important timber species of the Indian arid zone. Seedlings were planted in (50 cm)2 pits treated with 3 kg FYM at 3Ă—2 m spacing. Water harvesting and soil conservation treatments tested were: (1) control; (2) weed removal; (3) weed removal + soil working; (4) treatment (3) + water harvesting saucers 1 m diameter; (5) treatment (4) but with saucers 1.5 m diameter; (6) weed removal + 1.5 m diameter saucers + mulching; (7) water harvesting by raising bunds around each tree in a checker board design; and (8) water harvesting structures with inter-row slopes of 20%. The inter-row-slope technique caused a more than 5-fold increase in the total biomass of a 26-month-old plantation of T. undulata, a 4-fold increase in root mass, and a 35% increase in tree height. Saucers of 1.5 m diameter covered with mulch was the second best treatment. Both treatments significantly improved soil moisture storage, water use efficiency of trees, Harvest Index and biomass allocation to the stem component. The inter-row-slope technique was the most cost effective and growth effective treatment.