Chemical composition of green foliage biomass


Wondmagegn Bekele1 and Lisanework Nigatu2

The main objective of any agroforestry system is the use of foliage/pruning biomasses as source of nutrients for crop production. Foliage biomass sourced from woody component shows considerable quality variation among species. Hence, better productive agroforestry land use remains on the identification and use of the desirable species foliage biomass perceiving higher quality. Study was designed to examine the quality of three agroforestry shrub species foliage biomass based on macronutrient and common chemical quality index composition. The studied species were Cajanus cajan, Sesbania sesban and Flemingia macrophylla. To do so fully mature green foliage with petioles was collected from all crown parts of mother plants. The collected foliage biomass was analyzed for their macronutrient (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, C) and quality indices (Cellulose, Hemicellulose, Lignin, LCI and poly-phenol) compositions. Results from statistical analyses showed a significant (p<0.05) variations among species except for poly-phenol. In this respect the composition ranged from 2.13 to 2.74% for N, 0.33 to 1.28% for P, 0.4 to 1.04% for K, 0.3 to 1.72% for Ca, 0.21 to 0.24% for Mg, 45.08 to 47.25% for C, 13.7 to 23.6% for hemicellulose,1.85 to 14.53% for cellulose,7.71 to 22.3% for lignin, 0.33 to 0.38% for LCI, 0.6 to 0.86% for poly-phenol, 0.1 to 0.74% for tannin, 13.29 to 17.15% for crude protein and 16.44 to 22.43% for C/N ratios. The observed variation may be due to the species inherent physiological ability in the rate of nutrient uptake from soil. In the study foliage biomass sourced from S.sesban was identified as highly suitable species with regard to crop nutrient supply followed by C.cajan and F.macrophylla respectively. 

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