Jatropha seed is a biomass suitable for bioenergy production that can be produced by smallholders, even on marginal lands. However, the current oilseed production is too low to meet the needs of the planned renewable electricity system in the Galapagos Islands. Pruning and fertilization are management options that can be used to increase the dry seed yields. The effects of both treatments were tested in a split-plot design with jatropha trees, which were monitored during a three-year production period. The average seed production was 643±58 kg ha-1 year-1 in the unpruned trees and 696±50 kg ha-1 year-1 in the pruned trees. Although this difference is small, it is expected to increase over time. The pruned trees developed more slowly than the unpruned trees but showed higher (and still increasing) yields at the end of the three-year test period, while the unpruned trees appeared to have reached their maximum production by the second year of the trial. The low fertilizer doses approved by the smallholders did not have a significant impact on the dry seed yield, and the management options that show benefits in the long term are generally not accepted or adopted by them. Cost-effective nutrient enhancement should be investigated, such as inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.
|Translated title of the contribution||Pruning and fertilization effects on jatropha yieldunder smallholder’s conditions in a tropical dry forest from Ecuador|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Revista Facultad Nacional de Agronomia Medellin|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2020|