Biomass Growth and Farmer Knowledge of Inga edulis in Peruvian Amazon

Lojka B, Preininger D., Lojková J., Banout J., Polesný Z.

Inga edulis Mart. is popular with agroforesters for its rapid growth, tolerance of acid soils and high production of leafy biomass to control weeds and erosion. The objective was to determine the aboveground biomass growth of I. edulis, its correlation with other growth parameters and find out farmer knowledge about this species in Peruvian Amazon. The destruction analysis of 35 samples of Inga trees was done; the tree age was important criterion for selection. Trunk diameter at 10 cm, height of tree, and some other measurements were done. After cutting of trees, litter, leaf and wood biomass were collected and weighed. Data from destructive analysis were statistically analysed and highest correlation between parameters was sought. Best results were obtained when power function was used. Highest correlations were reached for dependence between wood biomass and diameter at 10 cm: y = 0.0466x2.3713; R2= 0.9235. It seems, that diameter of trunk is a more useful indicator of growth and biomass production than height. Short semi-structured interviews were also done with 20 farmers to determine farmer knowledge and use of this tree. Local farmers use this species mainly for fruit and fuelwood production, as a shade tree and highly valued is also ability to improve soil fertility.

Key words:
Inga edulis Mart., biomass growth, destruction analysis, Peruvian Amazon, correlation analysis, farmer knowledge

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