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Specific interactions leading to transgressive overyielding in cover crop mixtures

Wendling, Marina; Büchi, Lucie; Amossé, Camille; Jeangros, Bernard; Walter, Achim and Charles, Raphaël (2017) Specific interactions leading to transgressive overyielding in cover crop mixtures. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 241, pp. 88-99.

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Online at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167880917301135

Summary

Growing mixtures of species instead of sole crops is expected to increase the ecosystem services provided by cover crops. This study aimed at understanding the interactions between species and investigating how they affect the performance of the mixture. Four species were combined in six bispecific mixtures in a field experiment. The performance of each species when grown in a mixture was compared to its performance as a sole crop at different sowing densities, to characterise the influence of intra- and interspecific competition for each species. Intra- and interspecific competition coefficients were quantified using a response surface design and the hyperbolic yield-density equation. Interactions between the four species ranged from facilitation to competition. Most of the mixtures exhibited transgressive overyielding. Without nitrogen (N) fertilisation, high complementarity between species allowed to achieve the highest biomass. With N fertilisation, high dominance of one mixture component should be avoided to achieve good performance. A revised approach in the use of the land equivalent ratio for the evaluation of cover crop mixtures is also proposed in this study. It allows to better identify transgressive overyielding in mixtures and to better characterise the effect of one species on the other within the mixture.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Intraspecific and interspecific competition, Response surface design, Ressource partitioning, Facilitation, Relative dominance, Land Equivalency ratio (LER)
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems
Crop husbandry > Weed management
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil Sciences
Switzerland > Agroscope
Switzerland > ETHZ - Agrarwissenschaften
ISSN:0167-8809
DOI:10.1016/j.agee.2017.03.003
Deposited By: Charles, Dr. Raphaël
ID Code:33972
Deposited On:09 Nov 2018 13:46
Last Modified:09 Nov 2018 13:46
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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