Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Simulating the effects of water limitation on plant biomass using a 3D functional-structural plant model of shoot and root driven by soil hydraulics
    Braghiere, Renato K. ; Gérard, Frédéric ; Evers, Jochem B. ; Pradal, Christophe ; Pagès, Loïc - \ 2020
    Annals of Botany 126 (2020)4. - ISSN 0305-7364 - p. 713 - 728.
    ArchiSimple - functional-structural plant models - GroIMP - intercropping - Min3P - photosynthesis - soil modelling - soil-plant interactions - water deficit - water uptake

    BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Improved modelling of carbon assimilation and plant growth to low soil moisture requires evaluation of underlying mechanisms in the soil, roots, and shoots. The feedback between plants and their local environment throughout the whole spectrum soil-root-shoot-environment is crucial to accurately describe and evaluate the impact of environmental changes on plant development. This study presents a 3D functional structural plant model, in which shoot and root growth are driven by radiative transfer, photosynthesis, and soil hydrodynamics through different parameterisation schemes relating soil water deficit and carbon assimilation. The new coupled model is used to evaluate the impact of soil moisture availability on plant productivity for two different groups of flowering plants under different spatial configurations. METHODS: In order to address different aspects of plant development due to limited soil water availability, a 3D FSP model including root, shoot, and soil was constructed by linking three different well-stablished models of airborne plant, root architecture, and reactive transport in the soil. Different parameterisation schemes were used in order to integrate photosynthetic rate with root water uptake within the coupled model. The behaviour of the model was assessed on how the growth of two different types of plants, i.e. monocot and dicot, is impacted by soil water deficit under different competitive conditions: isolated (no competition), intra, and interspecific competition. KEY RESULTS: The model proved to be capable of simulating carbon assimilation and plant development under different growing settings including isolated monocots and dicots, intra, and interspecific competition. The model predicted that (1) soil water availability has a larger impact on photosynthesis than on carbon allocation; (2) soil water deficit has an impact on root and shoot biomass production by up to 90 % for monocots and 50 % for dicots; and (3) the improved dicot biomass production in interspecific competition was highly related to root depth and plant transpiration. CONCLUSIONS: An integrated model of 3D shoot architecture and biomass development with a 3D root system representation, including light limitation and water uptake considering soil hydraulics, was presented. Plant-plant competition and regulation on stomatal conductance to drought were able to be predicted by the model. In the cases evaluated here, water limitation impacted plant growth almost 10 times more than the light environment.

    Plant architectural responses in simultaneous maize/soybean strip intercropping do not lead to a yield advantage
    Li, Shuangwei ; Evers, Jochem B. ; Werf, Wopke van der; Wang, Ruili ; Xu, Zhaoli ; Guo, Yan ; Li, Baoguo ; Ma, Yuntao - \ 2020
    Annals of Applied Biology 177 (2020)2. - ISSN 0003-4746 - p. 195 - 210.
    architectural response - border row effect - growth - intercropping - land equivalent ratio

    Maize/soybean strip intercropping is a commonly used system throughout China with high crop yields at reduced nutrient input compared to sole maize. Maize is the taller crop, and due to its dominance in light capture over soybean in the intercrop, maize is expected to outperform maize in sole cropping. Conversely, soybean is the subordinate crop and intercropped soybean plants are expected to perform worse than sole soybean. Crop plants show plastic responses in plant architecture to their growing conditions to forage for light and avoid shading. There is little knowledge on plant architectural responses to growing conditions in simultaneous (non-relay) intercropping and their relationship to species yields. A two-year field experiment with two simultaneous maize/soybean intercropping systems with narrow and wide strips was conducted to characterise architectural traits of maize and soybean plants grown as intercrop and sole crops. Intercropped maize plants, especially those in border rows, had substantially greater leaf area, biomass and yield than maize plants in sole crops. Intercropped soybean plants, especially those in border rows, had lower leaf area, biomass and yield than sole soybean plants. Overall intercrop performance was similar to that of sole crops, with the land equivalent ratio (LER) being only slightly greater than one (1.03–1.08). Soybean displayed typical shade avoidance responses in the intercrop, such as greater internode elongation and changes in specific leaf area, but these responses could not overcome the consequences of the competition with the taller maize plants. Therefore, in contrast to relay intercrop systems, in the studied simultaneous maize/soybean system, plastic responses did not contribute to practically relevant increases in resource capture and yield at whole system (i.e., intercrop) level.

    Diversification and Management Practices in Selected European Regions. A Data-analysis of Arable Crops Production and soil organic carbon
    Bene, Claudia Di; Francaviglia, Rosa ; Álvaro-Fuentes, Jorge ; Gai, Lingtong ; Regina, Kristiina ; Turtola, Eila - \ 2020
    crop diversification - intercropping - multiple cropping - rotations - tillage - fertilizer - cropping systems - agriculture - soil organic carbon - crop yield
    This data set contains a data-mining performed to assess the impact of intercropping, tillage and fertilizer type on soil organic carbon and crop yield in arable crops from four selected European pedoclimatic regions and typical cropping systems in the Atlantic, Boreal, Mediterranean North, and Mediterranean South regions. A further meta-analysis was performed with these data.
    Oil Palm Agroforestry Can Achieve Economic and Environmental Gains as Indicated by Multifunctional Land Equivalent Ratios
    Khasanah, Nikmatul ; Noordwijk, Meine van; Slingerland, Maja ; Sofiyudin, Mohammad ; Stomph, Dienke ; Migeon, Adrien F. ; Hairiah, Kurniatun - \ 2020
    Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 3 (2020). - ISSN 2571-581X
    carbon footprint - cocoa - ecosystem services - intercropping - land equivalent ratio (LER) - oil palm - pepper - WaNuLCAS model

    Driven by increased global demand for vegetable oil in the food and biofuel sectors, oil palm plantations based on monoculture technology have expanded into lowland tropical forests. Interest in diversified, mixed oil palm systems is increasing as these might increase efficiency of the use of land and other resources, reduce farmer risk, and decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit product. Land Equivalent Ratio for provisioning services (LERP) values above 1.0 show that at least some diversified systems use land more efficiently than monocultures and are thus “land sparing,” where monoculture LERP cannot exceed 1.0. Diversification also modifies climate and water regulating functions (“land sharing”) relative to a forest reference, as indicated in the LERR index. A “multifunctional” LERM indicator combines both; land sparing plus land sharing effects jointly determine expected regulating services. Empirical assessment of multiple ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes is assisted by models that synthesise process-based knowledge, especially for perennial systems where well-designed experiments require a full production cycle, and are costly and scarce. Agroforestry models explore spacing, intercropping and soil management options, predicting harvestable yields, impacts on water flows, nutrient leaching, and greenhouse gas emissions. We used the process-based Water, Nutrient and Light Capture in Agroforestry System (WaNuLCAS) model to explore mixed oil palm + cocoa and oil palm + pepper intercrop systems with modified (“double row”) planting patterns for Indonesian contexts and estimated consequences for the carbon footprint. The oil palm + cocoa intercrop provided a high LERP (1.4), while also replenishing more ground water and having a lower C footprint. This combination also has a return to labour equal to that in oil palm monocultures and a higher benefit cost ratio than the oil palm + pepper combination that maximizes Net Present Value. Oil palm + cocoa systems are also less sensitive to price uncertainty for oil palm, and buffer for oil palm and cocoa production risks, assumed to be independent of each other. Considerable economic and environmental system improvements appear to be feasible through mixed oil palm systems and diversification as a pathway to intensification deserves full attention of research and policy development.

    Yield and nitrogen uptake of sole and intercropped maize and peanut in response to N fertilizer input
    Gao, Huaxin ; Meng, Weiwei ; Zhang, Chaochun ; Werf, Wopke van der; Zhang, Zheng ; Wan, Shubo ; Zhang, Fusuo - \ 2020
    Food and Energy Security 9 (2020)1. - ISSN 2048-3694
    intercropping - land equivalent ratio - N input - N uptake - yield

    Chinese agriculture needs to become less dependent on fertilizer inputs to enhance sustainability. Cereal/legume intercropping is a potential pathway to lower fertilizer inputs, but there is insufficient knowledge on the nitrogen (N) response in species mixtures. Here, we investigated N response in maize/peanut intercropping. Maize showed a stronger yield response to N input than peanut both in sole cropping and in intercropping, and so did sole crops relative to intercrops. Maize yield was the highest at the maximum level tested: 360 kg N/ha. Agronomic efficiency (AE) of sole maize was 7.8 kg/kg N input, averaged across five N levels (0, 90, 180, 270, and 360 kg/ha). Partial land equivalent ratios (pLERs) for maize decreased with N input, from 0.70 at zero to 0.64 at 360 kg/ha. Sole peanut showed an optimum yield response to N input, with the highest yield at 270 kg/ha and lower yield at 360 kg/ha. The average AE of sole peanut was 1.3 kg/kg. The pLER of peanut declined from 0.43 at zero to 0.32 at 360 kg/ha while the overall LER decreased from 1.13 to 0.96, indicating relative better performance of intercropping at low than at high N input. Apparent recovery (RE) for N was 27.2% for sole maize, 12.4% for sole peanut, and 7.2% for intercrops. Mean N uptake was 179 kg/ha in sole maize, 199 kg/ha in intercropping, and 264 kg/ha in sole peanut. Partial economic budgeting indicated that with the current low Chinese N fertilizer prices, gross margin is maximized with high N input in sole crops; however, for intercropping, the highest gross margin was attained at intermediate N inputs of 180 or 270 kg/ha. Fertilizer price incentives may facilitate a transition to intercropping at moderate N input in China.

    Narrow-wide-row planting pattern increases the radiation use efficiency and seed yield of intercrop species in relay-intercropping system
    Raza, Muhammad Ali ; Feng, Ling Yang ; Werf, Wopke van der; Cai, Gao Ren ; Khalid, Muhammad Hayder Bin ; Iqbal, Nasir ; Hassan, Muhammad Jawad ; Meraj, Tehseen Ahmad ; Naeem, Muhammd ; Khan, Imran ; Ur Rehman, Sana ; Ansar, Muhammad ; Ahmed, Mukhtar ; Yang, Feng ; Yang, Wenyu - \ 2019
    Food and Energy Security 8 (2019)3. - ISSN 2048-3694
    competition - intercropping - land equivalent ratio - radiation use efficiency

    Planting arrangements affect radiation use efficiency (RUE) and competitiveness of intercrop species in intercropping systems. Here, we reveal that narrow-wide-row planting arrangement in maize-soybean relay-intercropping system increases the dry matter and competitiveness of soybean, increased the RUE of maize and soybean, and compensates the yield loss of maize by substantially increasing the yield of soybean. In this field study, maize was planted with soybean in different planting arrangements (P1, 20:180, P2, 40:160; P3, 60:140, and P4, 80:120) of relay intercropping, all the relay-intercropping treatments were compared with sole crops of maize (SM) and soybean (SS). Results showed that P1 improved the total RUE 3.26 g/MJ (maize RUE + soybean RUE) of maize and soybean in relay-intercropping system. Compared to P4, treatment P1 increased the soybean competition ratio (CR) values (by 55%) but reduced the maize CR values (by 29%), which in turn significantly improved the yield of soybean by maintaining the maize yield. Generally, in P1, soybean produced 82% of SS yield, and maize produced 88% of SM yield, and it achieved the land equivalent ratio of 1.7. These results suggest that by maintaining the appropriate planting distances between maize and soybean we can improve the competitiveness and yield of intercrop species in relay-intercropping system.

    Is there life after hype for Jatropha? Exploring growth and yield in Indonesia
    Tjeuw, Juliana - \ 2017
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): K.E. Giller; M. van Noordwijk, co-promotor(en): M.A. Slingerland. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463431927 - 223
    fuel crops - jatropha curcas - crop yield - new crops - feasibility studies - indonesia - cultural methods - cultivation - disincentives - biobased economy - cropping systems - intercropping - brandstofgewassen - jatropha curcas - gewasopbrengst - nieuwe cultuurgewassen - haalbaarheidsstudies - indonesië - cultuurmethoden - teelt - belemmeringen - biobased economy - teeltsystemen - tussenteelt

    Jatropha curcas L. is a biofuel crop that has not lived up to expectations due to a combination of hype and disappointment and biophysical factors. This PhD thesis is based on the plant production component of the JARAK programme which aimed to bridge the gap between truth and fiction. This study reviewed the jatropha hype and disappointment and further investigated the hypothesis that jatropha growth and yield are limited by biophysical factors of plant characteristics, cropping systems, and management. My review of the hype and disappointment shows that despite the high expectations fuelled by market pull and technology push, and numerous actors, the commercial potential for jatropha is limited by policy and governance, economics, social, technology, logistical, and environmental. A study of the biophysical components confirms that no current varieties suited to different cropping systems and locations are available. Jatropha aboveground biomass is partitioned predominantly into a structure of stem, branches, and twigs. The below to aboveground biomass ratio was 0.5 and fruit which was found only on productive twigs accounted for the smallest portion of biomass measured. Seed yields were disappointingly small (109 kg ha-1) and were largest in monoculture, followed by intercropping and hedgerows in that order, although yields were influenced by age and management of pruning and fertiliser. Seed yield across the three cropping systems can be predicted using plant height and the number of productive twig/branch, although the number of inflorescence clusters per productive twig may be important. Intercropping between jatropha and maize (Zea mays L.) resulted in competition for resources both belowground and aboveground that reduced maize yields. Shoot pruning was effective in managing aboveground competition, while root pruning and root barriers effectively managed competition belowground. Leaf prunings provided a limited, but positive fertility effect on maize yield comparable to 21 kg N ha-1. Jatropha - maize intercropping has potential for long-term productivity provided management practices such as fertiliser, pruning, and planting density can be developed to minimise competition and enhance complementarity. Based on my review of the jatropha hype and disappointment and my biophysical research results, the planting of jatropha by smallholders, or as a plantation crop cannot be recommended. Once the issues I highlight have been resolved and market confidence restored, jatropha may finally become a commercial source of biodiesel able to provide improved socio-economic and environmental benefits.

    On yield gains and yield gaps in wheat-maize intercropping : opportunities for sustainable increases in grain production
    Gou, Fang - \ 2017
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Martin van Ittersum, co-promotor(en): Wopke van der Werf. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462579811 - 202
    zea mays - triticum - intercropping - crop yield - grain crops - crop production - models - photosynthesis - zea mays - triticum - tussenteelt - gewasopbrengst - graangewassen - gewasproductie - modellen - fotosynthese

    Intercropping is the cultivation of two or more crop species simultaneously in the same field, while relay intercropping means that the growing periods of the crop species are only partially overlapping. Intercropping has advantages with respect to productivity, resource capture, build-up of soil organic matter, and pest and disease suppression. This thesis aims to quantify and explain the yield advantages in wheat-maize relay intercropping and to assess the importance of intercropping for food production and land use efficiency.

    Wheat-maize intercropping had land equivalent ratios around or above one in two experiments in the Netherlands. Wheat in border rows showed major yield increases, and this yield increase was due to increases in the number of tillers per plant and the number of kernels per ear. The yield advantage of intercropped wheat was associated with a high radiation interception and radiation use efficiency (RUE). Under Dutch growing conditions, maize performance in the intercrop was constrained. Intercropping had a negative effect on the yield per plant and radiation use efficiency of maize. A strip intercrop model was developed, parameterized and tested with data on wheat-maize intercropping in the Netherlands. The model simulates radiation interception and growth in relay-strip intercrops with two species in different planting configurations. The model also allows simulating the consequences of border row effects for total system productivity. Bayesian analysis was applied to calibrate radiation use efficiency of wheat and maize in sole crops and intercrop. Intercropped wheat had higher a RUE than sole wheat, while intercropped maize had a lower RUE than sole maize. Intercropped maize had less favourable leaf traits (e.g. nitrogen content) during the flowering stage than sole maize in 2014, but the leaves in the intercrop had a higher photosynthetic rate than those in the sole crop. Possible explanations for this finding include differences between sole and mixed crops in water acquisition from soil, light distribution in the canopy, nitrogen distribution within the leaf and the contribution of the ear leaf to the growth of the cob. The low radiation use efficiency in intercropped maize may relate to nitrogen deficiency during grain filling. New concepts for potential yield, yield gain and yield gap in intercropping were developed in this thesis. Using crop model simulations and farm survey data, those concepts were operationalized in the context of wheat and maize production in an oasis area (Zhangye city) in northwest China. Wheat-maize intercropping resulted in substantial yield gains under potential and actual growing conditions. A comparison of potential and actual yields indicated a yield gap of 33% for sole wheat, 49% for sole maize, 15% for intercropped wheat, and 51% for intercropped maize. The land use analysis showed that discontinuing the use of intercropping in this region will decrease grain production substantially.

    Overall, this thesis studied the growth and productivity of wheat-maize intercropping at organ, plant and cropping system level, and also assessed its contribution to grain production at a regional level. The findings suggest that intercropping of food crops provides opportunities to meet increasing food demands. New technologies are needed to make strip intercropping efficient in terms of labour use and breeding should pay attention to cultivars that are suitable for intercropping.

    Crop yields in intercropping : meta-analysis and virtual plant modelling
    Yu, Y. - \ 2016
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Niels Anten, co-promotor(en): Wopke van der Werf; Tjeerd-Jan Stomph. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462576766 - 172
    crop yield - intercropping - modeling - models - use efficiency - crop mixtures - light - nitrogen - gewasopbrengst - tussenteelt - modelleren - modellen - gebruiksefficiëntie - gewasmengsels - licht - stikstof

    Intercropping, the cultivation of two or more crop species simultaneously in the same field, has been widely practiced by smallholder farmers in developing countries and is gaining increasing interest in developed countries. Intercropping can increase the yield per unit land compared to sole cropping. The yield advantage of intercropping is often assessed using the land equivalent ratio (LER). LER may be interpreted as the relative area required by sole crops to produce the same yields as achieved in a unit area of intercrop. LER>1 means intercropping is more efficient in land use than sole cropping. A large variation of LER has been found in the literature. However, few studies attempted to investigate reasons for this variation in LER. This thesis aims to reveal how temporal niche difference, crop type combination, and agronomic practices affect LER, productivity and interspecific interactions in annual intercrops.

    LER increased with temporal niche differentiation according to our meta-analysis of literature data. This positive relationship was valid in mixtures of C3 and C4 species but not in C3/C3 mixtures. Application of N fertilizer in intercropping decreased LER when the intercropped species were sown and harvested simultaneously. However, reducing overlap in growing periods of the intercropped species mitigated the negative effect of N fertilizer on LER. A functional-structural plant (FSP) model was developed to investigate the interplay between temporal and spatial complementarity and plant traits in mixed plant systems. The results showed that complementarity of light use in time and space likely determine productivity of species mixtures. The early-sown plants benefited from later sowing of the late-sown plants due to the relaxed competition for light from the late-sown plants until a plateau when the growth durations of the intercropped species overlapped less than 50% of the total growth period of the intercrop. By contrast, the late-sown plants suffered a great reduction in biomass due to the competition for light from the early-sown plants especially at moderately delayed sowing time and when spatial arrangement of the intercrop allowed strong interspecific competition. The shading effect from the early-sown plants on the growth and productivity of the late-sown plants was smaller if the late-sown plants had the potential to grow tall and if it had a high maximum CO2 assimilation rate. A meta-analysis of relative yields in cereal/legume intercrops was conducted to investigate the relationship between performance of intercropped species and management. Earlier sowing of one species increased its competitiveness towards the other species while later sowing decreased it. Application of N fertilizer enhanced the competitiveness of a cereal towards a legume, resulting in overall low productivity of legumes in intercrops. However, sowing legumes earlier than cereals mitigated the negative effect of N on productivity of legumes.

    Overall, this thesis shows that the complementary resource use resulting from plant traits diversity and temporal and spatial arrangements of plant mixtures is one of the key factors for high productivity of intercropping. This finding strengthens the basis for further research on the possible contribution of species diversity in agricultural systems to meeting the demand for food and other agricultural products while mitigating the environmental impacts of modern agriculture.

    Plant plasticity in intercropping: mechanisms and consequences
    Zhu, J. - \ 2015
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Niels Anten, co-promotor(en): Jochem Evers; Wopke van der Werf. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462572195 - 196
    tussenteelt - concurrentie tussen planten - simulatiemodellen - intercropping - plant competition - simulation models


    Diverse agricultural system such as intercrop is practised widely in developing countries and is gaining increasing interest for sustainable agriculture in developed countries. Plants in intercrops grow differently from plants in single crops, due to interspecific plant interactions and heterogeneous resource distribution, but adaptive plant morphological responses to competition in intercrops have not been studied in detail. This thesis aims to link the performance of an intercropping system with plasticity in plant traits.

    Grain yield of border-row wheat of an intercrop was 141% higher than in sole wheat. The yield increase was mainly associated with plasticity in tillering and leaf sizes. Compared to maize in monoculture, maize in intercrops had lower leaf and collar appearance rates, larger blade and sheath sizes at low ranks and smaller ones at high ranks. The data suggest many of those changes are linked to each other through feedback mechanisms both at plant level and at phytomer level. A model of maize development was further developed based on three coordination rules between leaf emergence events and dynamics of organ extension. Flexible timing of organ development can emerge from the model as well as the distribution of leaf sizes over ranks. A wheat-maize architectural model was developed for quantifying the role of architectural trait plasticity in light capture in intercrop. Simulated light capture was 23% higher in intercrop with plasticity in traits than the expected value weighted from the light capture in sole crops. Thirty-six percentage of the light increase was due to intercrop configuration alone and 64% was due to plasticity.

    Overall, this thesis clearly shows the importance of plasticity in architectural traits for overyielding in wheat-maize intercropping and probably in diversified cropping systems in general. Thus it points to a previously under-appreciated mechanism driving the relationship between species diversity and overyielding of plant communities.

    Exploration of agro-ecological options for improving maize-based farming systems in Costa Chica, Guerrero, Mexico
    Flores Sanchez, D. - \ 2013
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Martin Kropff, co-promotor(en): Walter Rossing; Egbert Lantinga. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461736758 - 205
    bedrijfssystemen - maïs - zea mays - agro-ecologie - agro-ecosystemen - agronomie - intensivering - tussenteelt - mexico - farming systems - maize - zea mays - agroecology - agroecosystems - agronomy - intensification - intercropping - mexico

    Keywords: farm diagnosis, farming systems, soil degradation, intercropping, maize, roselle, legumes, nutrient management, vermicompost, crop residues, decomposition, explorations.

    In the Costa Chica, a region of Southwest Mexico, farming systems are organized in smallholder units. The dominant cropping systems are based on maize (Zea mays L.), either as monocrop or intercropped with roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.). Continuous cropping, and unbalanced fertilizer management systems with an inadequate replenishment of organic matter stocks have caused depletion of soil fertility and low crop yields. This thesis aimed to evaluate alternative cropping systems in terms of their contribution to on-farm productivity and to regeneration of the soil resource base. A set of approaches including farm surveys, on-farm experiments and model-based calculations was applied to characterize farming systems, identify main livelihood constraints and evaluate alternative cropping and farming systems. Main constraints identified were low yields of the major crops maize and roselle, low levels of nitrogen, potassium and soil organic matter, low resource use efficiencies, high production costs, limited marketing opportunities and low prices of products. To address prevailing production constraints, farmer-managed experiments were established in two communities within the region. In on-farm experiments the legumes Canavalia (Canavalia brasiliensis Mart. Ex Benth) and Mucuna (Mucuna pruriens L.var. utilis (Wall ex Wight) Burk) were intercropped in (added to) maize monocrops and maize-roselle mixtures. Intercropping did not decrease maize and roselle yields, and resulted in major reductions of the weed biomass, as well as an increased N uptake by both the food crops and the cropping system as a whole. In nutrient management trials different sources of macro-nutrients were evaluated in maize monocrops and maize-roselle intercrops. The results showed that improvements at field scale are feasible in the short term. Partial replacement of mineral NPK by organic NPK in the form of vermicompost, leading to 10-20% lower total N and K inputs, did not result in lower maize yields or a reduced uptake of N and K. This suggests that the N and K from the vermicompost were utilized better by the maize crop than from the inorganic fertilizers due to lower leaching losses. An experiment on decomposition of and N release from aboveground biomass residues, crop root residues and vermicompost demonstrated that, although the pattern of decomposition varied depending on the type of organic material, most of the N was released within the cropping season. Particularly for vermicompost, only one third of its initial dry mass was decomposed, thus leaving significant amounts of residues for soil organic matter build-up. Model-based explorations were developed to assess the consequences of the experimental results at the field level for whole-farm performance. Results for eight case study farms demonstrated that changes in crop nutrition and animal husbandry can increase farm family income and improve organic matter balances. However, strategies to achieve these goals most effectively were distinct. To maximize family income required fertilizer-based cropping strategies, while rebuilding soil organic matter required investment in retaining, obtaining and applying sources of organic matter. Farms responded differently to the explored options, highlighting the need for crop nutrition strategies that are adjusted to the soil fertility status of individual fields to be most efficient. The explorations also showed that for six out of the eight farms the minimum family income standard could not be attained. The results imply that the current emphasis in policies to support smallholders by fertilizer subsidies requires adjustment to include promotion of technology development aimed at regeneration of the degraded resource base and to offer off-farm economic options.

    Biodiversity and key ecosystem services in agroforestry coffee systems in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest Biome
    Souza, H.N. de - \ 2012
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Lijbert Brussaard; I.M. Cardoso, co-promotor(en): Mirjam Pulleman; Ron de Goede. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461731098 - 156
    agroforestry - biodiversiteit - ecosysteemdiensten - coffea - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - agroforestrysystemen - tussenteelt - inheemse planten - regenbossen - brazilië - agroforestry - biodiversity - ecosystem services - coffea - sustainability - agroforestry systems - intercropping - native plants - rain forests - brazil

    The thesis reports the results of long-term experimentation (since 1993) of family farmers with agroforestry (AF) coffee systems in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest region, a highly fragmented and threatened biodiversity hotspot. The farmers used native trees from forest fragments during a transition from the predominant full sun-coffee (SC) production to more diversified agriculture. The aim of the research was to gain understanding of different agricultural management systems within the complex landscape matrix with respect to farmers’ capacity to diminish negative impacts on the environment, based on an ecosystem services approach.

    Participatory Rural Appraisal was used to obtain data from the family farmers. A method of systematization of their experiments created platforms for reflexion and development of agroforestry systems for farmers, technicians and researchers beyond only listing the negative and positive results. Long-term effects of coffee agroforestry (AF), full-sun coffee (SC) systems and surrounding reference forest fragments (RF) were assessed on: tree biodiversity, microclimate, soil quality, costs of labour and inputs and profitability. Selection of appropriate tree species was essential to the success of agroforestry. The main criteria for selecting tree species by farmers were: compatibility with coffee, amount of tree biomass produced, diversification of the production and the labour needed for tree management. The farmers used 85 tree species across the area, 28 of which belonged to the Leguminosae, a family of nitrogen-fixing plants. Most trees were either native to the biome, or exotic fruit trees. The diversification of production, especially with fruit trees, contributed to food security and to a low cost/benefit ratio of AF.

    Comparisons between reference forest fragments, agroforestry coffee and sun coffee revealed the potential of AF to conserve local tree biodiversity. Litter quality on-farm was functional in terms of soil erosion and fertility management. The canopy of the trees mitigated high temperature extremes: maximum temperature in SC systems (32oC) was 5.4 oC higher than in AF. Some soil quality parameters (total organic carbon, microbial carbon, soil respiration and potential nitrogen mineralization) showed higher values in RF than AF and SC, but no differences were observed between AF and SC.

    There was considerable diversity in the strategies and management of farmers for AF (including the choice of tree species), affecting the productivity and profitability. The total production value of AF was on average 43% higher than that of SC, largely due to other products than coffee. Both systems had an overall higher return of labour than the wage rate in the area.

    Continued participative work among scientists and stakeholders may help to increase the delivery of ecosystem services provided by family agriculture. Production systems based on ecosystem service delivery beyond just crop production have potential to reduce the need for external inputs and contribute to major local, regional and global objectives, such as food security, adaptation to climate change and conservation of biodiversity.

    Intercropping jatropha in Sumbawa : baseline study
    Ruijter, F.J. de; Serhalawan, F. ; Serhalawan, R. ; Ranteg-Oversteeg, R. ; Yani, A. ; Kusnayadi, H. ; Maryam, A. ; Sudirman, S. - \ 2011
    Wageningen : Plant Research International (Report / Plant Research International 413) - 29
    jatropha - tussenteelt - indonesië - jatropha - intercropping - indonesia
    Suikerbieten als tussenteelt voor vergisting : opbrengst, energierendement, broeikasgasemissiereductie en nutriëntenafvoer
    Huijbregts, T. ; Hanse, B. ; Voort, M.P.J. van der - \ 2011
    Bergen op Zoom : Stichting IRS - 23
    suikerbieten - tussenteelt - brandstofgewassen - gewasopbrengst - bio-energie - zaaitijd - oogsttijdstip - mineralenboekhouding - broeikasgassen - emissie - akkerbouw - biobased economy - sugarbeet - intercropping - fuel crops - crop yield - bioenergy - sowing date - harvesting date - nutrient accounting system - greenhouse gases - emission - arable farming - biobased economy
    In het kader van het project Energieboerderij is de mogelijkheid onderzocht om voor vergisting suikerbieten te telen na een vroegruimend gewas, waarbij de oogst na de winter plaatsvindt (tussenteelt). Alleen bij vroege uitzaai voor begin augustus werden voldoende hoge opbrengsten verkregen met een hoog energierendement en een broeikasgasemissiereductie die voldeed aan het duurzaamheidscriterium. Tussen de onderzochte rassen bestonden er significante verschillen in methaanopbrengst van zowel wortel als loof. Bij vroege zaai met voldoende hoge opbrengst worden aanzienlijke hoeveelheden nutriënten met het gewas afgevoerd. Vooral voor fosfaat kan dit problemen geven, indien er niet voldoende ruimte is om hiervoor te compenseren. Ook is het vorstrisico te groot om altijd na de winter te kunnen oogsten.
    Systeemontwerp rendabele algen teeltsystemen
    Hemming, Silke - \ 2010
    algae - algae culture - cropping systems - intercropping - energy - gas exchange - water flow - biobased economy - greenhouse horticulture - light distribution
    Diversiteit aan gewassen en rassen biedt kansen
    Raaijmakers, M. ; Lammerts Van Bueren, E. - \ 2009
    Ekoland 29 (2009)9. - ISSN 0926-9142 - p. 16 - 17.
    biologische landbouw - biodiversiteit - genetische diversiteit - genenbanken - voedselproductie - markten - consumenten - gewasmengsels - tussenteelt - teeltsystemen - vermeerderingsmateriaal - zaadmengsels - organic farming - biodiversity - genetic diversity - gene banks - food production - markets - consumers - crop mixtures - intercropping - cropping systems - propagation materials - seed mixtures
    Het behoud van de diversiteit aan gewassen en rassen voor de voedselproductie is van groot belang. Niet alleen is het gezonder en lekkerder om gevarieerd te eten, de onderliggende genetische diversiteit is noodzakelijk als 'bron' voor de veredeling van nieuwe rassen. Rassen die bijvoorbeeld goed om kunnen gaan met de gevolgen van klimaatverandering
    Meer productie door meer ruimte tussen plantrijen (WUR Glastuinbouw voerde een proef uit met verschillende tussenplantsystemen bij belichte tomaat)
    Boonekamp, G. ; Wageningen UR Glastuinbouw, - \ 2008
    Groenten en Fruit. Algemeen 2008 (2008)4. - ISSN 0925-9694 - p. 28 - 29.
    tuinbouw - kassen - teelt onder bescherming - belichting - optimalisatie - teelt in rijen - tussenteelt - tomaten - fotosynthese - gewasproductie - glastuinbouw - lichtverdeling - horticulture - greenhouses - protected cultivation - illumination - optimization - alley cropping - intercropping - tomatoes - photosynthesis - crop production - greenhouse horticulture - light distribution
    WUR Glastuinbouw voerde een proef uit met verschillende tussenplantsystemen bij belichte tomaat. De structuur van de plantrij bleek flinke invloed te hebben op de fotosynthese en de productie
    Rendabele biologische komkommerteelt
    Janse, J. ; Janmaat, L. - \ 2007
    Wageningen : Wageningen UR (Biokennis bericht : Glasgroenten ) - 4
    cucumis - komkommers - gewasbescherming - onderstammen - tagetes - tussenplanting - tussenteelt - meloidogyne - plagen - schimmelziekten - glasgroenten - glastuinbouw - cucumis - cucumbers - plant protection - rootstocks - tagetes - interplanting - intercropping - meloidogyne - pests - fungal diseases - greenhouse vegetables - greenhouse horticulture
    De biologische komkommerteelt is in meerdere opzichten een lastige teelt. De kwetsbaarheid van het gewas is groot, zowel vanuit de bodem als vanuit de lucht liggen belagers op de loer. Glastuinders zijn daarom op zoek naar een teeltsysteem dat past bij de grondteelt en voldoende productie plus kwaliteit oplevert. Om glastuinders meer zekerheid te bieden zijn zaadbedrijven en onderzoekers op zoek naar geschikte onderstammen en rassen. Op de bedrijven zelf wordt veel geëxperimenteerd met teeltsystemen, van traditioneel tot hoge draad en wat ertussenin valt.
    Productivity and resource use in cotton and wheat relay intercropping
    Zhang, L. - \ 2007
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Huub Spiertz, co-promotor(en): Wopke van der Werf. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085047599 - 198
    gossypium - triticum aestivum - teeltsystemen - estafetteteelt (relay cropping) - tussenteelt - gebruiksefficiëntie - stikstof - plant-water relaties - simulatiemodellen - china - gossypium - triticum aestivum - cropping systems - relay cropping - intercropping - use efficiency - nitrogen - plant water relations - simulation models - china
    Keywords: Grain yield; lint yield; phenological delay; light use; nitrogen use; resource use efficiency; modelling; profitability; water productivity. From the early 1980s onwards, farmers in the Yellow River cotton producing region intercropped cotton and winter wheat; currently on more than 60% of the total cotton acreage. The driving force for intercropping was the need to increase household income by producing a cash crop, while maintaining the production of a major staple food. This study aims at analyzing the productivity and resource use of cotton-wheat relay intercropping systems. Wheat is sown in strips with interspersed bare soil in October and harvested in June of the next year, while cotton is sown in the interspersed space in the wheat crop in April and harvested before the next wheat sowing in October. Crop growth, phenology, productivity, quality, resource use efficiencies and profitability of mono- and intercrops were studied at the plant, field and system levels. The measurements were carried out in field experiments during three consecutive years with monocultures of wheat and cotton and four intercropping designs differing in strip and path width as well as number of rows per strip. The intercrop systems were identified by the number of rows per strip of wheat and cotton, as 3:1, 3:2, 4:2 and 6:2, respectively. All intercropping systems showed an advantage in land productivity compared to growing of monocrops. The fiber quality of cotton was not affected by intercropping. The land equivalence ratio was 1.39 in the 3:1, 3:2 and 4:2 systems, and significantly lower, 1.28, in the 6:2 system. All systems thus provide a substantial land use advantage. Resource (light and nitrogen) use efficiencies of intercropped wheat were similar to the monoculture; however, the resource capture decreased, because part of the land space was assigned to cotton. For intercropped cotton, light use efficiencies were similar to the monoculture; the amount of light intercepted decreased due to a delay in development and growth during the seedling stage and by the extent of canopy closure after the wheat harvest. The relative nitrogen yield total of intercrops was higher than the land equivalence ratio. Nitrogen use efficiency of cotton was decreased. The analysis of the N balance sheet showed that in the intercropping systems N was considerably more prone to losses than in the sole cotton. Conventional N-management in intercrops results in high N-surpluses that pose an environmental risk. Water productivity, both of wheat and cotton, was lower for the intercrops than for monocultures. The lower WP in the intercropping systems compared to the sole crop is a concern for the sustainability of these systems; water productivity needs to be enhanced. A simple mechanistic model for cotton (SUCROS-Cotton) was developed to explore the prospects to optimize intercropping systems. This model simulates cotton development as well for intercrops as for monoculture. The findings suggest that the productivity and resource use efficiencies of cotton-wheat intercropping can be improved by modifying the conventional management practices and by system optimization. It is concluded that the intercropping systems increase farmers’ income under a wide range of wheat and cotton prices.
    Input levels and intercropping productivity: exploration by simulation
    Wubs, A.M. ; Bastiaans, L. ; Bindraban, P.S. - \ 2005
    Wageningen : Plant Research International (Nota note 369) - 100
    sorghum bicolor - sorghum - vigna unguiculata - vignabonen - teeltsystemen - tussenteelt - simulatiemodellen - input van landbouwbedrijf - watergebruiksrendement - afrika - sorghum bicolor - sorghum - vigna unguiculata - cowpeas - cropping systems - intercropping - simulation models - farm inputs - water use efficiency - africa
    Voorstudie van het effect van verschillende niveaus van waterinput op een sorghum-cowpea intercrop
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