Investigation of the Effects of Eucalyptus camaldulensis on Performance of Neighbouring Crop Productivity in Western Amhara, Ethiopia

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1100992   PDF   HTML   XML   899 Downloads   1,531 Views   Citations

Abstract

The study was conducted on investigating effects of Eucalyptus camaldulensis on the performance of adjacent crop productivity for the benefits over adverse effects of it versus different land uses in district Mecha of Western Amhara region, Ethiopia. This research was carried out with the aim to test the performance of neighbouring crops grown near E. camaldulensis on the effects on plant growth performance and grain yield. Eucalypts has many important uses and a reliable source of cash income for farm households. Despite the apparent benefits, there have been public reactions against Eucalypts planting, and of course the growers insist on planting for it is fast growing and biomass production. A simple plot experiment was laid away from tree stand replicated three times to each field for both crops to understand the effect of Eucalypts on adjacent crop productivity at different locations and random samples were taken. SAS (version 9) and descriptive statistics were employed. The study through key informants’ interview assured that most local farmers perceived the effect of Eucalypts on field crop performance nearby it. Crop yield and yield components showed a reduction from tree stand. Plant biomass, height, plant count, and grain yield of Zea mays and Panicum miliaceum decreased with distance to Eucalypts stand. Maize grain yield and biomass reduction was around 6.6 and 15 fold difference from tree stand to 20 m (control) sampling points respectively; whereas, for finger millet, grain yield difference was around 2.9 fold from tree stand. Yield and yield parameters suppression were ended at a distance of 14 to 20 m away from tree stand. This was not significantly (P < 0.05) different in yield and biomass between 20 and 25 m. Therefore, poor performances of adjacent crops, particularly the most important parameter grain yield, were due to competition for growth resources between Eucalypts and adjacent food crops. The scientific research has also confirmed the potential effect of Eucalypts on adjacent crops cultivated side by side. Altogether, it is recommended that field crops should be cultivated as far an average distance greater to about 20 m (center of farm) from Eucalyptus stand. Moreover, when planted on farms, Eucalypts should be restricted to sites where neighbouring crop productivity will not be adversely influenced.

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Alebachew, M. , Amare, T. and Wendie, M. (2015) Investigation of the Effects of Eucalyptus camaldulensis on Performance of Neighbouring Crop Productivity in Western Amhara, Ethiopia. Open Access Library Journal, 2, 1-10. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1100992.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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