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.
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.
A system identification approach for developing and parameterising an agroforestry system model under constrained availability of data
Keesman, K.J. ; Graves, A. ; Werf, W. van der; Burgess, P.J. ; Palma, J. ; Dupraz, C. ; Keulen, H. van - \ 2011
Environmental Modelling & Software (2011). - ISSN 1364-8152
land equivalent ratio - light interception - silvoarable agroforestry - production ecology - plant-growth - yield-safe - trees - europe - canopy - forest
This paper introduces a system identification approach to overcome the problem of insufficient data when developing and parameterising an agroforestry system model. Typically, for these complex systems the number of available data points from actual systems is less than the number of parameters in a (process-based) model. In this paper, we follow a constrained parameter optimization approach, in which the constraints are found from literature or are given by experts. Given the limited a priori systems knowledge and very limited data sets, after decomposition of the parameter estimation problem and after model adaptation, we were able to produce an acceptable correspondence with validation data from a real-world agroforestry experiment