Abstract— Homegardens in Kerala mimic forest ecosystems on account of the tree components included and are agroforestry systems that integrate different agricultural crops and enterprises as per the needs and interests of the farm family. Analysis of the structural diversity and nutrient recycling potentials of three agroforestry homegardens in southern Kerala revealed multi-tier cropping patterns with cropping intensities ranging from 177.18 to 187.04%. Two of the homegardens included livestock components adding to the nutritional security of the family. Diversity indices were in the order 0.92, 1.53 and 0.86. The quantum of litter fall varied with the tree canopies and species, amounting to 473.6, 425.37 and 345.11 kg adding 7.02, 7.517 and 5.165 kg NPK annually in the three homegardens. Maximum nutrient additions were recorded for nitrogen and potassium and least for phosphorus.
Keywords: agroforestry, diversity, homegarden, litter, nutrient
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