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Spatial and genetic crop diversity support ecosystem service delivery: A case of yield and biocontrol in Dutch organic cabbage production

Juventia, Stella D.; Rossing, Walter A.H.; Ditzler, Lenora and van Apeldoorn, Dirk (2020) Spatial and genetic crop diversity support ecosystem service delivery: A case of yield and biocontrol in Dutch organic cabbage production. Field Crops Research, 261, 0-0.

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Summary

A single focus on yield in agroecosystems comes at the expense of other ecosystem services, for instance, biocontrol of pests. In this study, we investigated the potential of intercropping to improve the delivery of ecosystem services by cropping systems. Intercropping was expected to deliver a higher yield through facilitation and complementarity while simultaneously suppressing pests via pest habitat dilution and habitat provision for natural enemies. Utilizing a network of experiments on crop diversification with different spatial arrangements and different levels of genetic crop diversity across the Netherlands in 2018, we analyzed the effect of seven intercropping designs on crop injury by pests, yield and quality in cabbage. Individual cabbage leaf injury by herbivorous pests was assessed using a newly developed diagrammatic scale. Provisioning services were measured as individual cabbage fresh weight and yield per unit area. We found a significant negative relationship between crop diversity and herbivore feeding injury per cabbage: intercropping designs with more species, accessions and/or cultivars exhibited lower feeding injury. The presence of flower strips significantly reduced overall injury in the adjacent cabbage strip, despite higher injury found in the rows closer to the flower strip. There was no clear relationship between crop diversity and fresh marketable weight per cabbage, however five out of seven intercropping designs were able to maintain total yield per area when compared with the sole crop reference. Our results show that crop diversification can simultaneously support the production ecosystem service by maintaining fresh marketable weight per cabbage plant and productivity per unit area, as well as the regulating ecosystem service of pest control. These results provide a basis for redesigning large-scale arable fields into diversified productive systems, and thereby facilitate the transition towards more sustainable farming systems. A better understanding of crop functionality and management needs in diverse arrangements is relevant for such redesign.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Brassica oleracea L., Strip cropping, Pixel cropping, Crop diversification, Functional biodiversity, Biological control, Agroecology
Agrovoc keywords:
Language
Value
URI
English
strip cropping
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_25705
English
cabbage (plant) -> Brassica oleracea capitata
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_9404
English
Brassica
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_1060
English
crop diversification -> diversification
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_2344
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Vegetables
Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic Cofund > SUREVEG
DOI:doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2020.108015
Deposited By: Le Noc, Titouan
ID Code:43210
Deposited On:19 Jan 2022 10:03
Last Modified:19 Jan 2022 10:03
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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