Home / Regular Issue / JTAS Vol. 44 (1) Feb. 2021 / JTAS-2038-2020


Effects of Harvesting Mucuna bracteata on the Legume Biomass and Soil Properties under Mature Oil Palm

Mohd Amir Zunnasri Mohd Noor, Muhammad Firdaus Sulaiman, Wan Azlina Wan Abdul Karim Ghani and Christopher Boon Sung Teh

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 44, Issue 1, February 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjtas.44.1.08

Published: 24 Febuary 2021

The under-utilized legume Mucuna bracteata is a potential biomass resource in Malaysia. A 24-month study was conducted under 10-year-old mature oil palm trees to determine the effects of several harvesting frequencies of M. bracteata on the legume biomass and soil properties. The experimental design was a randomized complete block design (RCBD) for the biomass and a two-factorial RCBD for the soil properties. The treatments were the harvesting frequencies, which were once every two, four, six, and twelve months. The control treatment was without harvest. There were significant effects on the legume’s cumulative biomass, standing biomass, leaf area, nutrient contents, and total nutrient harvested for N, Ca, Mg, and cellulose content. Generally, the more frequent the harvest, the more biomass was obtained, but the more legume standing biomass and leaf area were reduced. Despite the reduction in legume growth and leaf area in the field, harvesting the legume did not affect any of the soil physicochemical properties. The biomass N, Ca, and Mg contents and nutrient harvested were also affected by harvesting. This was due to the production of relatively more young shoots after harvesting, which would remove most of the aboveground plant parts. The cellulose content in the legume also increased for the same reasons. Results showed that harvesting M. bracteata once every six months was an acceptable compromise between collecting large amounts of legume biomass and having a reduced legume growth recovery and leaf area in the field, but yet not detrimentally affecting the soil properties.

  • Abdul Khalil, H. P. S., Kang, C. W., Khairul, A., Ridzuan, R., & Adawi, T. O. (2009). The effect of different laminations on mechanical and physical properties of hybrid composites. Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites, 28(9), 1123–1137. https://doi.org/10.1177/0731684407087755

  • Abdul Khalil, H. P. S., Poh, B. T., Issam, A. M., Jawaid, M., & Ridzuan, R. (2010). Recycled polypropylene-oil palm biomass: The effect on mechanical and physical properties. Journal of Reinforced Plastics and Composites, 29(8), 1117–1130. https://doi.org/10.1177/0731684409103058

  • Agensi Inovasi Malaysia. (2013). National Biomass Strategy 2020: New wealth creation for Malaysia’s biomass industry (Version 2.0, 2013). Agensi Inovasi Malaysia.

  • Aqeel, A. M. (2011). Using manual defoliation to simulate soybean rust: Effect on growth and yield formation [Unpublished Doctoral dissertation]. University of Kentucky.

  • Campostrini, E., & Yamanishi, O. K. (2001). Estimation of papaya leaf area using the central vein length. Scientia Agricola, 58(1), 39-42. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0103-90162001000100007

  • Chaikitkaew, S., Kongjan, P., & Thong, S. O. (2015). Biogas production from biomass residues of palm oil mill by solid state anaerobic digestion. Energy Procedia, 79, 838–844. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2015.11.575

  • Chiu, S. B., & Basad, M. (2006). Mucuna bracteata – Biomass, litter and nutrient production. The Planter, 82(961), 247– 254.

  • Chiu, S. B., Farida, E., & Siow, A. (2001). Mucuna bracteata - A super legume cover crop revisited. The Planter, 77(907), 575-583.

  • Department of Agriculture. (2008). Panduan siri-siri tanah utama di Semenanjung Malaysia [Guide to main soil series in Peninsular Malaysia] (2nd ed.). Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries.

  • Dragoni, F., o Di Nasso, N. N., Tozzini, C., Bonari, E., & Ragaglini, G. (2015). Aboveground yield and biomass quality of giant reed (Arundo donax L.) as affected by harvest time and frequency. BioEnergy Research, 8(3), 1321-1331. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12155-015-9598-x

  • Fageria, N. K., Baligar, V. C., & Li, Y. C. (2014). Nutrient uptake and use efficiency by tropical legume cover crops at varying pH of an Oxisol. Journal of Plant Nutrition, 37(2), 294-311. https://doi.org/10.1080/01904167.2013.851695

  • Gardner, J. L., He, W., Li, C., Wong, J., Sale, K. L., Simmons, B. A., & Tanjore, D. (2015). Calorimetric evaluation indicates that lignin conversion to advanced biofuels is vital to improving energy yields. RSC Advances, 5(63), 1092-1101. https://doi.org/10.1039/C5RA01503K

  • Goh, C. S., Tan, K. T., Lee, K. T., & Bhatia, S. (2010). Bio-ethanol from lignocellulose: Status, perspectives and challenges in Malaysia. Bioresource Technology, 101(13), 4834–4841. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2009.08.080

  • Goh, K. J., Gan, H. H., & Ng, H. C. P. (2007). Agronomy of Mucuna bracteata under oil palm. In K. J. Goh (Ed.), Mucuna bracteata: A cover crop and living green manure (pp. 45-84). Agricultural Crop Trust (ACT).

  • Hue, K. T., Van, D. T. T, Ledin, I., Wredle, E., & Sporndly, E. (2012). Effect of harvesting frequency, variety and leaf maturity on nutrient composition, hydrogen cyanide content and cassava foliage yield. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Science, 25(12), 1691-1700. https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2012.12052

  • Idris, S. S., Rahman, N. A., Ismail, K., Alias, A. B., Rashid, Z. A., & Aris, M. J. (2010). Investigation on thermochemical behaviour of low rank Malaysian coal, oil palm biomass and their blends during pyrolysis via thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Bioresource Technology, 101(12), 4584-4592. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2010.01.059

  • Kothandaraman, R., Mathew, J., Krishnakumar, A. K., Joseph, K., Jayarathnam, K., & Sethuraj, M. R. M. (1989). Comparative efficiency of Mucuna bracteata DC and Pueraria phaseoloides Benth. on soil nutrient enrichment, microbial population and growth of Hevea. Indian Journal of Natural Rubber Research, 2, 147-150.

  • Lior, N. (2008). Energy resources and use: The present situation and possible paths to the future. Energy, 33(6), 842-857. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2007.09.009

  • Lounglawan, P., Lounglawan, W., & Suksombat, W. (2014). Effect of cutting interval and cutting height on yield and chemical composition of King Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum x Pennisetum americanum). APCBEE Procedia, 8, 27-31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apcbee.2014.01.075

  • Ludwig, C., Wochele, J., & Jörimann, U. (2007). Measuring evaporation rates of metal compounds from solid samples. Analytical Chemistry, 79(7), 2992-2996. https://doi.org/10.1021/ac0622173

  • Marschner, H. (2012). Marschner’s mineral nutrition of higher plants (3rd ed.). Academic Press.

  • Mathews, C. (1998). The introduction and establishment of a new leguminous cover crop, Mucuna bracteata under oil palm in Malaysia. The Planter, 74(868), 359-368.

  • McDonald, P., Edward, R. A., Greenhalgh, J. F. D., & Morgan, C. A. (2002). Animal nutrition (6th ed.). Wiley.

  • McLean, E. O. (1982). Soil pH and lime requirement. In A. L. Page (Ed.), Methods of soil analysis. Part 2. Chemical and microbiological properties (2nd ed., pp. 199-224). American Society for Agronomy.

  • McQueen-Mason, S., Darley, C., Roberts, P., & Jones, L. (2003). Cell growth. In B. Thomas, D. J. Murphy, & B. G. Murray (Eds.), Encyclopedia of applied plant sciences (pp. 523-532). Academic Press.

  • Mills, H. A., & Jones Jr, J. B. (1996). Plant analysis handbook II. Plant Nutrition. MicroMacro Publishing.

  • Olsen, S. R., & Sommers, L. E. (1982). Phosphorus. In A. L. Page (Ed.), Methods of soil analysis. Part 2. Chemical and microbiological properties (2nd ed., pp. 403-430). American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America.

  • Reuter, D. J., & Robinson, J. B. (1986). Plant analysis: An interpretation manual. CSIRO Publishing.

  • Saura-Calixto, F., Cañellas, J., & Soler, L. (1983). Dietary fibre and components of the nitrogen-free extract of almond kernels. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 34(12), 1419-1422. https://doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.2740341216

  • Shuit, S. H., Tan, K. T., Lee, K. T., & Kamaruddin, A. H. (2009). Oil palm biomass as a sustainable energy source: A Malaysian case study. Energy, 34(9), 1225-1235. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2009.05.008

  • Teh, C. B. S., & Jamal, T. (2006). Soil physics analyses (Vol. 1). UPM Press.

  • Terrill, T. H., Gelaye, S., Mahotiere, S., Amoah, E. A., Miller, S., & Windham, W. R. (2003). Effect of cutting date and frequency on yield and quality of kudzu in the Southern United States. Grass and Forage Science, 58(2), 178-183. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2494.2003.00369.x

  • Thomas, G. W. (1982). Exchangeable cations. In A. L. Page (Ed.), Methods of soil analysis. Part 2. Chemical and microbiological properties (2nd ed., pp. 159-165). American Society for Agronomy.

  • Van Lierop, W. M. (1976). Digestion procedures for simultaneous automated determination of NH4, P, K, Ca and Mg in plant material. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 56(4), 425-432. https://doi.org/10.4141/cjss76-051

  • Vinther, F. P. (2006). Effects of cutting frequency on plant production, N-uptake and N2 fixation in above- and below-ground plant biomass of perennial ryegrass–white clover swards. Grass and Forage Science, 61(2), 154-163. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2494.2006.00519.x

  • Vose, P. B. (1963). Varietal differences in plant nutrition. Herbage Abstracts, 33(1), 1-13.

  • Yoneyama, T., Ito, O., & Engelaar, W. M. H. G. (2003). Uptake, metabolism and distribution of nitrogen in crop plants traced by enriched and natural 15N: Progress over the last 30 years. Phytochemistry Reviews, 2, 121-132. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:PHYT.0000004198.95836.ad

  • Zarate-Valdez, J. L., Whiting, M. L., Lampinen, B. D., Metcalf, S., Ustin, S. L., & Brown, P. H. (2012). Prediction of leaf area index in almonds by vegetation indexes. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 85, 24-32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compag.2012.03.009

ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

Article ID


Download Full Article PDF

Share this article

Related Articles