Results of Soil Microclimate Research in Forestry Intercropping Systems in Hungary
Keywords:agroforestry, alley cropping, afforestation, maize, microclimate
A special form of alley cropping system is the intercropping of forest, which is traditional and still used nowadays worldwide in afforestation. In Hungary this practice is used mostly on the non-protected areas of the Great Hungarian Plain. The aim of this study was to examine the extent to which intercropping modifies the development of seedlings compared to the current practice of reforestation. Measurements and observations have been proceeded in two trial sites: Hajdúhadház and Kapuvár, and in both cases, control areas were also designated, close to the trial site, with similar parameters. The experimental areas have different ecological features, but in both cases intermediate cultivation has been applied. The Hajdúhadház experimental area was established in 2015 and measurements were carried out until 2017, while in Kapuvár, the experiment started in 2019. At both sites, soil temperature, conductivity and growth parameter measurements were performed. The two examined areas are different regarding to tree species and plantation structure, but the main purposes of both forestry companies were to maximize the utilization of available space, protect seedlings and ensure the success of afforestation. The research results so far show that soil microclimate is more favourable in the intercropping system, which contributes to the better development of seedlings. By using maize as an intercrop in the alleys, fodder production for animal stock and game management was also feasible. Further investigations on yield and microclimate are planned in the area of Kapuvár Forest Office in the next three years.