Evaluation, Productivity and Competition of Brachiaria decumbens, Centrosema pubescens and Clitoria ternatea as Sole and Mixed Cropping Pattern in Peatland

Ali A1,4, Abdullah L2, Karti PDMH2, Chozin MA3, Astuti DA2

1 Graduate Student of Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia
2 Faculty of Animal Science, Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia
3 Faculty of Agricultural, Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia
4 Faculty of Agriculture and Animal Science, UIN Suska Riau, Indonesia
E-mail: ali_arsyadi@yahoo.com

(Diterima 27 Maret 2014 ; disetujui 6 Juni 2014)

ABSTRAK

Ali A, Abdullah L, Karti PDMH, Chozin MA, Astuti DA. 2014. Evaluasi, produktivitas dan daya saing dari Brachiaria decumbens,Centrosema pubescens dan Clitoria ternatea sebagai tanaman tunggal dan campuran pola pemotongan di lahan gambut. JITV 19(2): 81-90. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14334/jitv.v19i2.1036

Penelitian ini dilakukan untuk mengetahui produktivitas, indeks kompetisi dan kandungan nutrisi dari Brachiaria decumbens (rumput) , Centrosema pubescens dan Clitoria ternatea (leguminosa) pada sistem pertanaman tunggal dan campuran di lahan gambut Pekanbaru, Indonesia dari bulan Oktober 2011 sampai dengan November 2012. Penelitian ini menggunakan rancangan acak kelompok dengan 5 perlakuan dan 3 kelompok sebagai ulangan. Lima perlakuan yang dibandingkan adalah:B. decumbens pertanaman tunggal (Bd), C. pubescens pertanaman tunggal (Cp), C. ternatea pertanaman tunggal (Ct), B..decumbens dan C. pubescen pertanaman campuran (Bd+Cp) dan B. decumbens dan C. ternatea pertanaman campuran (Bd+Ct). Produksi bahan kering. B..decumbens adalah nyata meningkat (P<0,05) sebesar 147,9% pada pertanaman campuran dengan C. pubescens dan 74,1% pada pertanaman campuran dengan C..ternatea dibandingkan pertanaman B. decumbens tunggal. Nilai land equivalent ratio (LER) berkisar antara 1,04 (Bd+Ct) sampai dengan 1,58 (Bd+Cp). Nilai crowding coefficient (K) dari B..decumbens pada kedua pertanaman campuran adalah lebih tinggi dari nilai K C..pubescens dan C..ternatea. Sementara itu, nilai K total Bd+Cp lebih tinggi dari Bd+Ct. Nilai competition ratio (CR) B. decumbens pada pertanaman campuran dengan C..pubescens dan C. ternatea adalah >1. Nilai agresivitas (A) B. decumbens pada kedua pertanaman campuran adalah positif. Kandungan protein kasar B..decumbens adalah tidak meningkat dengan pertanaman campuran dengan leguminosa. Pertanaman campuran dengan B. decumbens nyata menurunkan (P<0,05) kandungan protein kasar C. ternatea. Sementara itu, pertanaman campuran dengan C.pubescens dan C. ternatea tidak menurunkan kandungan neutral detergent fibre (NDF) danacid detergent fibre (ADF) B. decumbens. Dapat disimpulkan bahwa, pertanaman campuran dengan C. pubescens danC. ternatea di lahan gambut dapat meningkatkan produksi bahan kering B. decumbens. Dan sebaliknya, pertanaman campuran dengan B..decumbens tidak mempengaruhi produksi bahan kering C..pubescens dan menurunkan produksi bahan kering C. ternatea. Pertanaman campuran B. decumbens dengan C. pubescens dan B. decumbens denganC. ternatea di lahan gambut tidak meningkatkan total produksi bahan kering per satuan luas lahan dan kandungan nutrisi hijauan. B. decumbens lebih kompetitif dan dominant dibandingkan C. pubescens dan C. ternatea di lahan gambut.

Kata Kunci : Sistem Penanaman, Hijauan, Produksi, Kandungan Nutrisi, Lahan Gambut

ABSTRACT

Ali A, Abdullah L, Karti PDMH, Chozin MA, Astuti DA. 2014. Evaluation, productivity and competition of Brachiaria decumbens,Centrosema pubescens and Clitoria ternatea as sole dan mixed cropping pattern in peatland. JITV 19(2): 81-90. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14334/jitv.v19i2.1036

This study was carried out to determine the productivity, competition index and nutrient content of Brachiaria decumbens (grass) , Centrosema pubescens and Clitoria ternatea (legumes) as sole and mixed cropping system in peatland in Pekanbaru, Indonesia from October 2011 to November 2012. The experiment was set up in randomized complete block design with five treatments and three blocks as replication. Five treatments were: B. decumbens sole cropping (Bd), C. pubescens sole cropping (Cp), C. ternatea sole cropping (Ct), B..decumbens and C. pubescens mixed cropping (Bd+Cp) and B. decumbens and C. .ternatea mixed cropping (Bd+Ct). The dry matter (DM) yield of B. decumbens was significantly (P<0.05) increased in mixed cropping. B. decumbens DM yield in C. pubescens intercrop increased by 147.9% and in C. ternatea intercrop increased by 74.1% compare to sole B. decumbens. Land equivalent ratio (LER) value ranged from 1.04 (Bd+Ct) to 1.58 (Bd+Cp). The crowding coefficient (K) value of B. decumbens in both mixed croping system was higher than K value of C. pubescens and C. ternatea. The total K value for Bd+Cp was higher than Bd+Ct. The competition ratio (CR) value of B. decumbens mixed cropping with C. pubescens andC. ternatea were.>1. The aggressivity (A) value of B. decumbens in both mixed cropping was positive. The crude protein (CP) content of B.decumbens did not significantly (P>0.05) increased in mixed cropping with legumes. Intercropping with B. decumbens significantly (P<0.05) decreased CP content of C. ternatea. Meanwhile neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and acid detergent fibre (ADF) content ofB. decumbens did not decrease by intercropping with C.pubescens and C. ternatea. In conclusion, mixed cropping with C. pubescens and C. ternatea in peatland increased DM yield of B. decumbens. Mixed cropping with B. decumbens did not influence DM yield of C. pubescens and decreased DM yield and CP content of C..ternatea. Mixed cropping of B. decumbens with C. pubescens and B. decumbens with C..ternatea in peatland did not increase total DM yield of forage per unit area of land and nutrition contents of forage. B. decumbens was more competitive and dominant than C..pubescens and C. ternatea in peatland.

Key Words : Cropping System, Forage, Nutrient Contents, Yield, Peatland

INTRODUCTION

Productivity of forage is influenced by species of forage, environmental and soil condition (Jayanegara & Sofyan 2008). The quality of pasture can be improved by improving pasture plant diversity (Whitehead 2000), intercropping pattern (Whitehead & Isaac 2012) and using the forage species that can grow well in dry season. Brachiaria decumbens is a high in production of dry matter when planted in areas with low rainfall (Mutimura & Everson 2012). B. decumbens will grow better if planted in a mixture with creeping legumes. Centrosema pubescens and Clitoria ternatea are creeping legume that are widely grown as animal feed and they grow well in dry season (Nworgu & Ajayi 2005). Fresh production of C..pubescens reached 40 t/ha/yr and it is very rich in crude protein (19.6%) (Nworgu et al. 2001). Meanwhile, C. ternatea (butterfly pea) can grow on poor soils and contains high crude protein still (19%) (Cook et al. 2005).

Legumesin forage intercrops can provide a more available N in soil for crops through biological N fixation (Crews & People 2004). Non-legume and legumes mixed cropping are mostly applied to develop sustainable pasture and supply high quality feed through the years (Javanmard et al. 2009). Grass-legume mixtures tend to provide a superior nutrient balance and produces higher forage yield (Albayrak et al. 2011). However, grass-legume intercroping are more difficult to manage than monoculture pasture because of competition for light, water and nutrients (Albayrak & Ekiz 2005), or allelopathic that occur between mixed crops (Lithourgidis et al. 2011; Santalla et al. 2001). The extent of competition induced yield loss of the main crop in intercropping is likely depends upon crop compatibility and establishment timing (Hirpa 2013).

In Indonesia, grasses and legumes are mostly cultivated on mineral soil. Cultivation of forage crops in mixed cropping system in peatland has not been frequently conducted by farmers due to lack of information and experience. Therefore, the productivity of B..decumbens, C. .pubescens and C..ternatea as sole and mixed cropping and its cultivation management in peatland (organosol) need to be explored. Indonesian peatland is approximately 20.6 million ha (Wahyunto et al. 2005), and it has not been used for the development of grasses, legumes and fodder tree. This study was conducted to determine the productivity, competition index and nutritive value of B. decumben s, C. pubescens and C. ternatea as sole and mixed cropping patterns in peatland.

MATERIAL AND METHODS

Experimental site

This study was conducted during rainy season i.e. from October 2011 to November 2012, at research farm of Faculty of Agriculture and Animal Science of UIN Suska Riau Pekanbaru, which is located at 1014- 10134 East longitude and 025- 045 North latitude, with the altitude ranges from 5-50 meters. Average monthly rainfall, air temperature and relative humidity during experimental period is shown in Figure 1. During the study, maximium temperature ranged 31.2-33.7oC and minimum temperature ranged 22.3-23.6oC. The highest temperature (33.7oC) was on June 2012 and the lowest temperature (22.3oC) was on May 2012. Maximum humidity was between 94.3-97.5%. Minimum humidity was between 56.2-68.9%. Monthly average rainfall was 227.1 mm and total rainfall per year was 2660 mm. The lowest (66.7 mm) and the highest (341.2 mm) rainfall were on January 2012 and December 2011, respectively.

Experimental design

The forages studied were B. decumbens (grass), C. pubescens and C. ternatea (legumes). The experiment was set up in randomized block design with five treatments and three blocks as replication. Five treatments compared were: B..decumbens sole cropping (Bd), C. pubescens sole cropping (Cp), C. ternatea sole cropping (Ct), B..decumbens and C..pubescens mixed cropping (Bd+Cp) and B..decumbens and C. ternatea mixed cropping (Bd+Ct).

Figure 1. Average monthly rainfall, air temperature, and relative humidity at the location of experiment
T = temperature (oC); RH= Relative Humidity (%); RF= Rainfall (mm)

Plot, planting density, liming and fertilizing

This experiment was conducted in peatland (sapric type). The soil chemical properties were as follow: pH 5.54, N 0.14%, C 7.20%, C/N 51.43, K 2.48 me/100g and P 30.18 ppm, respectively. The size of experimental land was 11.5x17 m and divided in three blocks. Each block was sub-divided into five plots (each plot size of 2.5x5m), namely Bd, Cp, Ct, Bd+Cp and Bd+Ct. The forages were planted in September 2011. The plant density was 50 plants/plot (planting space was 50x50 cm) and was maintained under rain-fed condition. The proportion of grass and legume in mix culture plots was 1:1 according to dry matter production potential. Dolomit lime was applied at 3 t/ha and was applied 1 month before planting. The basal organic fertilizer (cattle manure) was applied at 10 t/ha and was applied two weeks before planting (Agus & Subiksa 2008), while inorganic fertilizers (NPK) at the rate of 50 kg/ha/yr was applied two weeks after planting (surrounding the plant).

Propagating, pruning, harvesting and sample procedure

Grass (B..decumbens) was propagated by stolons while, legumes (C..pubescens and C. ternatea) was propagated by seed. Pruning was done 2 months after planting in experimental plot by trimming approximately 20 cm above the ground using a pair of garden shear. This would allow a new and uniform re-growth of the plant of which will be harvested as experimental samples. Grass and legume foliages were harvested six times a year with 60 days cutting interval. The plants were cut approximately 20 cm from the ground from each plot (n=24 plant) and directly weighed to determine the fresh yield.

Competition index

The competitiveness of grass and legume as mixed cropping was determined in terms of land equivalent ratio (LER), competition ratio (CR), crowding coefficient (K) and Aggressivity (A). The LER, measures the effectiveness of mixed cropping in using the environmental resources compared to sole cropping (Banik et al. 2006; Yilmaz et al. 2008; Dhima et al. 2007; Oseni 2010). The LER values were calculated as: LER = (LERgrass + LERlegume), where LERgrass.= (Ygm/Yls), and LERlegume = (Ylm/Ygs), where Ygs and Yls are the yields of grass and legume as sole crops respectively, and Ygm and Ylm are the yields of grass and legume as mixed cropping, respectively. LER >1, indicates yield advantage. The relative crowding coefficient (K) measures of the relative dominance of one species over the other in a mixed cropping and calculated as: K = (Kgrass x Klegume), where Kgrass = Ygm.x.Zlp./.[(Ygs-Ygm) x Zgp], and Klegume = Ylm x Zgp / [(Yls-Ylm) x Zlp] (De Wit 1960 in Banik et al. 2006), where Zgp and Zlp are the proportion of grass and legume in a mixed cropping. The value of K is > 1, indicated yield advantage; when K is = 1, indicated no yield advantage; and, when K < 1 indicated disadvantage.

The CR gives a clear idea about which forage is more competitive in association (Mahapatra 2011). The CR values were calculated by the formula as described by Willey & Rao (1980) in Banik et al. (2006): CRgrass.=.(LERgrass/LERlegume).x.(Zlp/Zgp), and CRlegume.=.(LERlegume/LERgrass).x (Zgp/Zlp). If CR grass >1, grass is more competitive than legume and if the value is <1, grass is less competitive than legume. The reverse is true for CR legume. The aggressivity (A) is another index for measuring competitive relationship between two forages in mixed cropping. This was calculated by the formula as recommended by Dhima et al. 2007: Agrass = (Ygm/Ygs x Zgp).- (Ylm/Yls.x.Zlp) and Alegume = (Ylm/Yls x Zlp) - (Ygm/Ygs x Zgp). Thus if Agrass = 0, both crops are equally competitive, If Agrass is positive, then the grass is dominant, and if Agrass is negative, the grass is subdominat.

Chemical analysis

Fresh samples of grass and legume from each plot (about 500 g) were dried in air-forced oven at 60oC for 48 h, and ground to pass through a 1 mm sieve for chemical analysis. The dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) contents were determined according to the AOAC (2005) procedure. Neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF) were estimated according to the method of Van Soest et al. (1991).

Crude protein content of forage was analysed at Laboratory Research Center of Biological Resources and Biotechnology, PAU, Bogor Agricultural University. NDF and ADF content of forage were analysed at Laboratory Nutrition and Chemistry, Faculty of Agriculture and Animal Science of UIN Suska Riau Pekanbaru.

Statistical analysis

Data was analyzed by analysis of variance (ANOVA) based on a randomized complete block design. Significant differences were tested using Duncan's Multiple Range Test (DMRT) at 5% level of significance differences.

RESULT AND DISCUSSION

Dry Matter (DM) yield of forages

Annual DM Yield per Plant

The effect of intercropping on DM yield per plant (g/yr) of B. decumbens, C..pubescens and C. ternatea are shown in Table 1. The DM yield of B. decumbens significantly (P<0.05) increased with in cropping. The DM yield of B..decumbens mixed cropping with C..pubescen increased 147.9% and mixed cropping with C. ternatea increased 74.1% compared to sole B. decumbens. The increasing in DM yield could be attributed to the presence of legumes that contribute to soil available N for B. decumbens growth (Bakhashwain 2010). The legumes provided a more sustainable source of N to cropping systems through biological N fixation (Crews & Peoples 2004; Strydhorst et al. 2008), decay of dead root nodules and mineralization of shed leaves (Njoka-Njiru et al. 2006).

DM yield of B. decumbens was significantly (P<0.05) higher in intercropped with C. pubescens than those C. ternatea. Such result showed that C. ternatea was worse than C. pubescens when mixed with B. decumbens, so it did not contribute much to the increased growth of B. decumbens. Mixed cropping with B. decumbens decreased 67.3% DM yield of C. ternatea and 32.4% DM yield of C. pubescens. The decreasing DM yield was due to the impact of the interspecific competition (Hirpa 2013). A competition increases yield of dominant species, but decreases yield of sub-ordinate species (Li et al. 2001). Limited growth of C. pubescens and C. ternatea in intercropping system might be caused by extending growth of B. decumbens. It led to extensive nutrient uptake by B. decumbens from the soil compared to that of C. pubescens and C..ternatea. Depending on crops in the mixture, competition for light, water and soil nutrients, that might occur between mixed crops, it could reduce yields of weak crop (Olowe & Adeyemo 2009; Lithourgidis et al. 2011).

Table 1. DM yield per plant (g/yr) of B. decumbens (Bd), C. pubescen (Cp) and C. ternatea (Ct) on sole and mixed cropping

Forages

DM yield

Bd sole cropping

348c61

Bd in mixed cropping with Cp

863a269

Bd in mixed cropping with Ct

606b218

Cp sole cropping

145cd13

Cp in mixed cropping with Bd

98d2

Ct sole cropping

205c77

Ct in mixed cropping with Bd

67d5

Means in the same column with different superscript differ significantly at 5% level (Duncans multiple range test),
DM yield per plant of Cp and Ct sole cropping refers to Ali et al. (2013)


Annual DM yield per plot

The effect of cropping system on DM yield per plot is shown in Table 2. It was recorded that mixed cropping in peatland did not significantly (P>0.05) increase the total DM yield of forage.

Mixed copping with B. decumbens ihibited the growth of C. pubescens and C. ternatea due to competition in uptaking nutrient elements in soil, water and light (Oseni 2010; Lithourgidis et al. 2011). B. decumbens grew by forming stolons so that more nutrient were absorbed compared to C. pubescens and C. ternatea. Mixed cropping with C. pubescens and C. ternatea increased DM yield of B. decumbens 147.9% and 74.1%, respectively, so the lack production of both legumes on the mixed plot was supplied by excess production of B. decumbens. Moreover, intercropping with legume improves soil fertility through biological nitrogen fixation with the use of legumes, increases soil conservation through greater ground cover than sole cropping, and provides better lodging resistance for crops susceptible to lodging than when grown in monoculture (Lithourgidis et al. 2011; Pozdisek et al. 2011)

Competition indices

Land Equivalent Ratio (LER)

The total value of LER was >1 in both mixed croppings (Table 3), showing a yield advantage over sole cropping. LER values ranged from 1.04 (Bd+Ct) to 1.58 (Bd+Cp), so that 0.4 to 58% more land should be used in sole cropping in order to obtain the same yield of mixed cropping (Eskandari 2012). This figure indicated a superiority of the intercrops over pure stand with regard to the use of environmental resources for plant growth (Dhima et al. 2007; Mahapatra 2011).

Crowding coefficient (K)

The K value of B. decumbens in both mixed cropping systems was higher than K value of C. pubescens and C. ternatea (Table 3), indicating an absolute yield advantage of B. Decumbens over both legumes. C. pubescens and C. ternatea has less competitive ability than B. decumbens in intercropping system, and may require higher planting density to B. decumbens to achieve intercropping benefit (Strydhorst et al. 2008). The total K value for Bd+Cp was higher than Bd+Ct, indicating that B. decumbens mixed cropping with C.pubescens contributed to the high productivity per unit of land compared to mixed cropping with C. ternatea (Yilmaz et al. 2008).

Competition Ratio (CR)

Table 3 reveals that the CR value of B. decumbens mixed cropping with C..pubescens and C. ternatea were >1, indicating that B. decumbens was more competitive than both legumes, resulting in impaired growth of C. pubescens and C..ternatea. Mixed cropping led to interspecific interaction, with impact on increasing of growth, nutrient uptake and yield of dominant species and decreases growth and nutrient uptake of the subordinate species (Zhang & Li 2003). The CR value of C. pubescens was higher than C. ternatea, suggesting that C. pubescens was more competitive than C. ternatea in B. decumbens mixture.

Aggressivity (A)

A value of B. decumbens in both mixed cropping was positive (Table 3), indicating B. decumbens was more dominant than C. pubescens and C. ternatea. Such a result was expected since grasses are likely to be more competitive than legumes. In addition, dominance of B. decumbens was probably due to forming stolons and large canopy that could drastically overcrowd legumes (Yilmaz et al. 2008)

Table 2. Dry matter yield (t/ha/yr) of forage per plot based on cropping system

Cropping System

Plot

DM

Monoculture

B. decumbens (Bd)

13.9ab2.4

C. pubescens (Cp)

5.8c0.5

C. ternatea (Ct)

8.2b3.1

Mixculture

Bd+Cp

19.2a5.3

Bd+Ct

13.5ab4.5

Means in the same column with different superscript differ significantly at 5% level (Duncans multiple range test)
Annual DM yield of Cp and Ct plots refers to Ali et al. (2013)

Proportion in DM yield of grass and legume in mixture

Figure 2 (a) and (b) show that the proportion of B..decumbens to C..pubescens and B. decumbens to C. ternatea in mixture plot increased from first harvest (December 2011) to last harvest (October 2012). Lower proportion of C..pubescens and C. ternatea than B. decumbens at each harvest probably due to both legumes had weak competitive ability in intercropping with grass (Tosti & Thorup-Kristensen 2010). Low ability of C. pubescens and C. ternatea in competing with B. decumbens in intercropping was reflected in the value of K, CR and A (Table 3).

Nutrient composition

Dry Matter (DM)

DM content of forage was not affected by cropping system and plant species (Table 4). Result of study found that DM content of legume was comparable to grass. This study revealed that legume and grass are about equal in moisture content.

Crude Protein (CP)

There were great variations among the plant species for CP (Table 4). Higher CP content found in legumes (C. pubescens and C. ternatea) than grass (B..decumbens), it might be due to the advantage of the legume-Rhizobium symbiosis that provide N to the legume (Crews & People 2004). Increased in N supply will improve crude protein content of forage. Njoka-Njiru et al. (2006) reported that legumes fix atmospheric N2 and therefore have a higher protein and feed value than grasses.

CP content of B. decumbens was not significantly (P>0.05) increased by mixed Cropping with legumes. This result was not in agreement with those reported by several researches (Chen et al. 2004; Javanmard et al. 2009; Lithourgidis & Dordas 2010; Lithourgidis et al. 2011; Eskandari 2012; Njad et al. 2013) that intercropping non-legume with legume improved dry matter yield and CP content of nearby non-legume.

Result of the present study showed that intercropping with B..decumbens significantly (P<0.05) decreased CP content of C. ternatea, indicating that B. decumbens did not only inhibited growth but also decreased quality of C..ternatea. The CP content of B. decumbens was relatively lower compared to the CP content of B. decumbens reported by Evitayani et al. (2004a) and Aregheore et al. (2006) i.e. 6.5-7.8% and 10.8%, respectively. The present study showed that CP contents of C. pubescens planted in peatland was slightly lower than those found by Martens et al. (2012) and Omole et al. (2011) who obtained CP content of C..pubescens varied from 23.6 to 25.5%. However, it was very comparable with the study of Aregheore et al. (2006) and Evitayani et al. (2004) who reported that CP content of C. pubescens was 17.3% and 18.9%, respectively. The present study also showed that CP content of C. ternatea was lower than those found by several researchers. Mahala et al. (2012), Nasrullah et al. (2003) and Heinritz et al. (2012) reported that CP content of C. ternatea was 17%, 18.28% and 19%, respectively. The present studies demonstrated that CP content of forage was influenced by forage type, cropping system, environmental condition and land condition (Jayanegara & Sofyan 2008; Dahmardeh et al. 2009).

Table 3. Competition indices of B. decumbens, C. pubescen and C. ternatea on mixed cropping system

Competition indices

Bd+Cp

Bd+Ct

Bd : Cp

Bd+Cp

Bd : Ct

Bd+Ct

Land equivalent ratio (LER)

1,24

0,34

1,58

0,87

0,16

1,04

Crowding coefficient (K)

5,13

0,5

2,59

6,81

0,2

1,36

Competition ratio (CR)

3,7

0,27

5,31

0,19

Aggressivity (A)

1,81

-1,81

1,42

-1,42

Figure 2. (a) Proportion of B. decumbens (Bd) and C. pubescens (Cp) in Bd+Cp plot at each harvest within one calender year of production
  (b) Proportion of B. decumbens (Bd) and C..ternatea (Ct) in Bd+Ct plot at each harvest within one calender year of production

Table 4. The content of dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and acid detergent fibre (ADF) of B..decumbens (Bd), C..pubescens (Cp) and C..ternatea (Ct) under sole and mixed cropping

Forage

DM (%)

% DM

CP (%)

NDF (%)

ADF (%)

Bd sole cropping

24,71.4

4.7d0.3

72.0a1.2

36.1cd4.8

Bd in mixed cropping with Cp

25,61.5

6.3d1.0

74.0a3.6

39.7c1.0

Bd in mixed cropping with Ct

24,40.9

5.0d0.3

71.7a3.2

40.3bc2.7

Cp sole cropping

24,30.4

17.5a.2.2

67.8b2.1

45.6a1.6

Cp mixed in cropping with Bd

24,50.7

18.5a0.8

63.9bc9.1

44.6ab0.7

Ct sole cropping

23,01.3

14.8b2.8

55.7d1.4

39.2cd0.6

Ct in mixed cropping with Bd

24,50.9

12.7c1.2

58.1cd1.0

35d2.3

Means in the same column with different superscripts differ significantly at 5% level (Duncans multiple range test)
The DM, CP, NDF and ADF contents of Cp and Ct sole cropping refers to Ali.et.al. (2013)

Neutral Detergent Fibre (NDF)

As commonly reported, NDF content of forage was significantly (P<0.05) influenced by forage species (Table 4). NDF content of B. decumbens was significantly (P<0.05) higher than C. pubescens and C. ternatea. As expected, there was a negative relationship between CP and fiber content, in which low crude protein was associated with high fibre fraction (Evitayani et al. 2004). Jung & Casler (2006) reported that low NDF content of legume is because legume has particularly large amount of pectin in primary walls, resulting in more pectin in legume forages than grasses in both leaves and stem. Lower in NDF content might indicate higher in forage intake. The fact that the NDF content of B. decumbens did not decrease by intercropping with C. pubescens and C. ternatea. In This experiment results was on contrary with reports by Lauriault & Kirksey(2004), Eskandari et al. 2009 and Lithourgidis et al. (2011) that mixed cropping with legume reduced NDF content of forage. These study showed that the NDF content of sole C..pubescens was significantly (P<0.05) higher than C..pubescens in mixed cropping with B..decumbens, indicating that intercropping causes an increased intake of C..pubescens. Eskandari et al. 2009 stated that the NDF content of forage is negatively related to rate of intake consumption by an animal and rate of cell walls from the rumen by digestion and passage. NDF content of B. decumbens in this experiment was higher than those found by Nasrullah et al. (2003), Evitayani et al. (2004), Evitayani et al. (2004a) and Aregheore et al. (2006) who reported that NDF contents of B. decumbens was 68.16%, 57.8%, 59.8-69.3% and 61.5%, respectivelly. The NDF content of C. pubescens and C. ternatea in this study was also slightly higher than those reported by other researchers. Aregheore et al. (2006) reported that NDF content of C. pubescens was 45.2% and Nasrullah et al. (2003) noted that NDF content of C. ternatea was 42.30%. These result demonstrated NDF content of forage was affected by environmental factor, forage species, and soil type.

Acid Detergent Fibre (ADF)

ADF is the percentage of higly indigestible plant material present in forage. Low ADF values means higher digestibility (Eskandari et al. 2009). The ADF content of forage in this study was not affected by cropping pattern (Table 4). In sole cropping, the ADF content of C. pubescens was higher than B. decumbens and C..ternatea, indicating that C. pubescens has lower digestibility than B. decumbens and C. ternatea. The ADF content refers to the cell wall portion of the forage. These portion consist of cellulose and lignin. As the ADF increases, the digestibility of the forage usually decrease (Albayrak et al. 2011), causing consumption of the forage by animal to reduce (Aydin et al. 2010). The present study also indicated that the ADF content of B. decumbens and C. ternatea was relatively comparable. This probably due to the relatively constant amount of cellulose among B. decumbens and C. ternatea. Cellulose is the primary constituent of ADF (Eskandari et al. 2009). Therefore, grasses and legumes may have similar ADF values (Weiss et al. 2002; Karabulut et al. 2007). The ADF content of B. decumbens obtained in this study was comparable to those found by Nasrullah et al. (2003), Evitayani et al. (2004), Evitayani et al. (2004a) and Aregheore et al. (2006) who reported that the ADF content of B. decumbens varied from 26.5 to 43.9%. The results showed that the ADF content of C. pubescens in the present study was higher than those obtained by Nasrullah et al. (2003) and Aregheore et al. (2006) who reported that the ADF content of C. pubescens was 37.36% and 39.8, respectively. Meanwhile, the study also showed that the ADF content of C. ternatea planted in peatland was higher than the finding of Nasrullah et al. (2003) who found that ADF content of C. ternatea which grows naturally in South Sulawesi was 31.91%.

CONCLUSION

Mixed cropping with C. pubescens and C. ternatea in peatland increased DM yield of B. decumbens. Mixed cropping with B. decumbens did not influence DM yield of C. pubescens and decreased DM yield and CP content of C..ternatea. Mixed cropping of B. decumbens with C. pubescens and B. decumbens with C..ternatea in peatland did not increase total DM yield of forage per unit area of land and nutrition contents of forage. B. decumbens was more competitive and dominant than C..pubescens and C. ternatea in peatland.

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