Tropical Grasslands (1991) Volume 25, 119128
Sustaining productive pastures in the tropics
H.M. SHELTON1, J.B. LOWRY2, R.C. GUTTERIDGE1, R.A. BRAY3and J.H. WILDIN4
1Department of Agriculture, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia;
Among tropical legumes, the tree species, Leucaena leucocephala, has demonstrated a high potential for increasing liveweight gain. Expansion of its use is limited by damage from the psyllid (Heteropsylla cubana) and the slow rate of establishment of leucaena seedlings in some environments. These problems with L. leucocephala have given impetus to the search for alternative varieties and species of tree legumes with similar features. These features include longevity and versatility of management once established, high animal production potential, tolerance of a wide range of climatic and edaphic environments, and potential for use in a range of agroforestry applications because of their deep rooted habit. The shading effect of tree canopies can have a positive effect on understorey grass yield and quality due to improved nutrient cycling.