International Journal of Agroforestry and Silviculture ISSN: 2375-1096 Vol. 3 (10), pp. 232-245, October, 2016. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Sunlight environment for vanilla planifolia cultivated by agroforestry system in East Kalimantan

1Kunio Kitai and 2Abubakar M. Lahjie

1Department of Forest Science and Resources, College of Bioresource Science, Nihon University,-cum-Doctoral Students Forest Science of Mulawarman University.

2Faculty of Forestry, Mulawarman University.

Corresponding author. E-mail:

Received 15 September, 2015; Revised 15 February, 2016; Accepted 19 March, 2016 and Published 25 October, 2016


The suitable sunlight environment for cultivation of vanilla by agroforestry in an equatorial region was investigated. The cultivation required shade, and the canopies of crop trees and support trees performed that function. Enough shade by the canopies of these trees kept the sunlight intensity on vanilla colony lower than 30klx. The thick crop-tree-canopies and thin support-trees-canopies kept it lower than 50klx, except the invasion of occasional 50-150klx. Although support-tree-canopies in the plantation style without crop trees reduced it below 60klx, an invasion of 60-200klx was frequently reached. Sunlight below 50klx maintained the vanilla leaves at a healthy green color. Invasion higher than 100 klx*h/day of the integration sunlight intensity changed it to a yellow color or red color. Even though the flowering of a vanilla plant required strong sunlight by shade release, in the equatorial region, this invasion was excessive. In order to prevent disturbance and to promote flowering, 100klx*h/day was considered to be the suitable upper limit in shade release work. And it was thought that such a sunlight environment was controllable by pruning the support trees under thick crop-tree-canopies.

Key words: Agroforestry, vanilla, cultivation, equatorial region, sunlight environment, sunlight intensity, shade control, pruning, support trees, color of leaves, disturbance.