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Partitioning of simulated rainfall in a kaolinitic soil under improved fallow-maize rotation in Zimbabwe

By G. Nyamadzawo, P. Nyamugafata, R. Chikowo and K.E. Giller


Research on improved fallows has concentrated on soil fertility benefits neglecting possible benefits to soil and water conservation. The effects of improved fallows on rainfall partitioning and associated soil loss were investigated using simulated rainfall on a kaolinitic soil in Zimbabwe. Simulated rainfall at an intensity of 35 mm h-1 was applied onto plots that were under planted fallows of Acacia angustissima and Sesbania sesban, natural fallow and maize (Zea mays L.) for two years. At the end of 2-years in October 2000, steady state infiltration rates could not be determined in A. angustissima and natural fallow plots, but they were 24 mm h-1 in S. sesban and 5 mm h-1 in continuous maize. The estimated runoff losses after 30 min of rainfall were 44% from continuous maize compared with 22% from S. sesban and none from A. angustissima and natural fallow plots. Infiltration rate decay coefficients were 36 mm and 10 mm for S. sesban and continuous maize, respectively. In October 2001 after one post-fallow crop, it was still not possible to determine the steady state infiltration rates in A. angustissima and natural fallows, but they were 8 and 5 mm h-1 for, S. sesban and continuous maize systems, respectively. The runoff loss, averaged across tilled and no-tilled plots, increased to 30% in the case of S. sesban fallowed plots and 57% for continuous maize; there was still no runoff loss from the other treatments. There were significant differences (

Topics: hortonian overland-flow, tropical alfisol, runoff dynamics, management
Year: 2003
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Provided by: NARCIS
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