Report 02. An interim report on influences of inoculation with nitrogen-fixing symbionts on reforestation efforts in Haiti
Reid, R. Kent
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DescriptionThe Haiti Agroforestry Research Project was a program to encourage Haitian farmers to plant fast growing trees as a cash crop. This project was part of an overall plan by USAID to curb the devastating erosion which was washing the top soil into the sea.
Many of the tree species produced in the AOP are able to fix nitrogen when their roots are colonized with the appropriate symbiotic microorganisms. In order to ensure colonization, tree seeds are inoculated at planting with the appropriate micro-symbiont. This practice was started without rigorous testing in Haiti of the benefits of nursery inoculation with either inoculum obtained form the Nitrogen Fixation by Tropical Agricultural Legumes (Niftal) Project in Hawaii or from indigenous inoculum. The primary objective of the study described here was to define the gains, if any, resulting from inoculating tree species with N-fixing symbionts in the nursery. Additionally, since a major annual cost is buying the imported inoculum on Acacia auriculiformis. Finally, A. auriculiformis was fertilized with phosphorus to see if colonization could be improved. This interim report covers results from the first phase of the study. Morphological measurements were made and analyzed and those data are presented below. Additional work on the harvested seedlings will include shoot and root biomass and nutrient analysis. Representative seedlings from each of these treatment combinations were outplanted so development can be monitored. Three-month measurements are presented here, with final measurements of those seedlings to be made in October 1989.
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