Pemanfaatan Asystasia gangetica (L.) T. Anderson sebagai Biomulsa untuk Meningkatkan Laju Infiltrasi pada Lahan Kelapa Sawit Menghasilkan
Planting cover crop or biomulch as one of land conservation methods could be applied to increase the availability of groundwater. Asystasia gangetica is a plant that has the potential as biomulch on mature oil palm plantations. This research aimed to determine the roles of A. gangetica increasing water availability by improving the infiltration rate. The research was conducted on Cikabayan Experimental Field IPB from August 2020 to January 2021. The treatments were types of biomulch consisting of without biomulch, A. gangetica, Ageratum conyzoides, Borreria alata, and Arachis pintoi which were arranged using a randomized block design with five replications. The biomulches were planted on plots 5 m x 2 m. The results showed that A. gangetica had the best growth and was able to cover the soil faster than other biomulches. A. gangetica could increase the infiltration rate by 42% compared to without biomulch treatment with infiltration capacity of 20.42 cm per hour at 20 weeks after planting (WAP).
Keywords: cover crop, land conservation, water availability