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Root pruning reduces root competition and increases crop growth in a living mulch cropping system

Båth, Birgitta; Kristensen, Hanne L. and Thorup-Kristensen, Kristian (2008) Root pruning reduces root competition and increases crop growth in a living mulch cropping system. Journal of Plant Interactions, 3, pp. 211-221.

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Summary

In two field experiments, growth of white cabbage in pure stands was compared with that of cabbage grown in living mulch systems to reduce pest attacks. The roots of the living mulch were pruned early in the season, with the aim of reducing competition and increasing growth of the white cabbage. Root pruning was shown to increase the above-ground biomass of white cabbage, with two prunings giving higher cabbage yields than one, but there were clear differences between the living mulch species tested (red clover, birdsfoot trefoil, salad burnet, winter rye). Below-ground growth and competition were examined by measuring root distribution in minirhizotrons and uptake of 15N placed at different soil depths. These studies showed that the ability of mulch species to compete for resources at depth was restricted by pruning, and that this was crucial for the development of the white cabbage crop.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Vegetables
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF III (2005-2010) > VEGQURE - Organic cropping Systems for Vegetable production
Deposited By: Thorup-Kristensen, Professor Kristian
ID Code:16319
Deposited On:29 Sep 2009 08:19
Last Modified:15 Jul 2014 11:45
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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