A participatory on-farm study was conducted to explore the effects of food input patterns on water quality and sediment nutrient accumulation in ponds, and to identify different types of integrated pond systems. Ten integrated agriculture-aquaculture (IAA) farms, in which ponds associate with fruit orchards, livestock and rice fields were monitored in the Mekong delta of Vietnam. Pond mass balances for nitrogen (N), organic carbon (OC) and phosphorus (P) were determined, and pond water quality and sediment nutrient accumulation were monitored. Data were analyzed using multivariate canonical correlation analysis, cluster analysis and discriminant analysis. The main variability in pond water quality and sediment nutrients was related with food inputs and water exchange rates. Water exchange rate, agro-ecological factors, pond physical properties and human waste input were major variables used to classify ponds. Classification was into: (1) low water exchange rate ponds in the fruit-dominated area, (2) low water exchange rate ponds in the rice-dominated area receiving homemade feed, and (3) high water exchange rate ponds in the rice-dominated areas receiving wastes. Pond water exchange rate was human-controlled and a function of food input patterns, which were determined by livelihood strategies of IAA-households. In the rice-dominated area with deep ponds, higher livestock and human wastes were found together with high water exchange rates. In these ponds, large organic matter loads reduced dissolved oxygen and increased total phosphorus concentrations in the water and increased nutrient (N, OC and P) accumulation in the sediments. In the rice-dominated area with wide ponds, higher homemade feed amounts were added to the ponds with low water exchange rate. This resulted in high phytoplankton biomass and high primary productivity. The contrary occurred in the fruit-dominated area, where fish were grown in shallow and narrow ponds, receiving more plant residue which resulted in lower phytoplankton biomass and lower sediment nutrient accumulation.
- agriculture-aquaculture systems
- crop-animal systems
- northeast thailand