Table of Contents
ISRN Forestry
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 637410, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/637410
Research Article

Intercropping Cedrela odorata with Shrubby Crop Species to Reduce Infestation with Hypsipyla grandella and Improve the Quality of Timber

Department of Ecology and Ecosystem Management, Center of Life and Food Sciences Weihenstephan, Institute of Silviculture, Technische Universität München, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2, 85356 Freising, Germany

Received 27 November 2012; Accepted 14 December 2012

Academic Editors: D. Czeszczewik, M. Kitahara, G. Martinez Pastur, and S. Riffell

Copyright © 2013 Carola Paul and Michael Weber. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Cultivation of Cedrela odorata, a valuable tropical hardwood species, is restricted by the mahogany shoot borer (Hypsipyla grandella), whose attacks reduce stem quality in forest plantations. This study investigated whether infestation rates would be reduced and growth performance improved by the intercropping of C. odorata tree seedlings with different crop rotations. The height increment achieved by C. odorata during the first two years was significantly stimulated by the intercropping of maize (Zea mays), pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan), and cassava (Manihot esculenta). Attacks of H. grandella were also considerably reduced in these treatments, compared to the control plots, while intercropping with beans and rice produced no improvement. The effect was particularly distinct when lateral competition between trees and crops was high. Accordingly stem quality was higher in the treatments featuring tall crops. Trees intercropped with C. cajan performed best in terms of height (276 cm  ), survival (100% ±0), and quality (81% ±13.5 of trees with satisfying stem quality) after two years. We concluded that intercropping of tree seedlings which are susceptible to H. grandella with shrubby multipurpose species can improve both tree growth and timber quality and hence increase the attractiveness of such species for reforestation.