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N2 fixation and N supply in organic pea (Pisum sativum L.) croping systems as affected by weeds and peaweevil (Sitona lineatus L.). European Journal of Agronomy : 22(4) : 449-458.

Corre-Hellou, Dr Guénaëlle and Crozat, Pr Yves (2004) N2 fixation and N supply in organic pea (Pisum sativum L.) croping systems as affected by weeds and peaweevil (Sitona lineatus L.). European Journal of Agronomy : 22(4) : 449-458. European Journal of Agronomy, 22 (4), pp. 449-458.

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Online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eja.2004.05.005

Summary

Grain legumes, especially peas, could play a key role in organic cropping systems. They could provide nitrogen (N) to the system via N2 fixation and produce grain rich in protein while improving soil N for the succeeding crop. Thus, maximising N2 fixation and optimising grain N production together with N contribution to soil is a challenging issue for organic pea crops. However, pest, disease and weed infestation are less easy to control in organic systems than in conventional systems. Therefore, the effects of weed infestation and pea weevil (Sitona lineatus L.) attacks on N nutrition and N2 fixation of organic pea crops were examined by on-farm monitoring over two years. The magnitude of the net contribution of the crops to the soil N balance in relation to their productivity was also assessed. In many situations, weed infestation together with pea weevil damage severely limited the nitrogen nutrition and grain yield. Percentage of N derived from fixation (%Ndfa) increased with weed biomass because weeds appeared more competitive than peas for soil N. But %Ndfa decreased with pea weevil leaf damage score. The interaction between these two biotic factors affected N yields and the net contribution of the crops to soil N. This latter ranged from −133 kg N ha−1 to 69 kg N ha−1 depending on %Ndfa and nitrogen harvest index (NHI). Optimising both grain N and net balance would require a reduction in root nodule damage by weevil larvae in order to maximise %Ndfa and a reduction in the NHI through the choice of cultivar and/or suitable crop management.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Pisum sativum L.; Nitrogen fixation; Weeds; Pea weevil; Organic farming; On-farm monitoring
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Cereals, pulses and oilseeds
Research affiliation: France > ESA - Ecole Supérieure d'Agriculture d'Angers
Deposited By: Corre Hellou, Dr Guénaëlle
ID Code:9956
Deposited On:07 Nov 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:34
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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