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Complementary resource use in intercropped faba bean and cabbage by increased root growth and nitrogen use in organic production

Shanmugam, Sindhuja; Hefner, Margita; Pelck, Jeanett S; Labouriau, Rodrigo and Kristensen, Hanne Lakkenborg (2021) Complementary resource use in intercropped faba bean and cabbage by increased root growth and nitrogen use in organic production. Soil use and management, 2021, pp. 1-12.

[thumbnail of Shanmugam et al 2021_fababean sum.12765.pdf] PDF - Published Version - English


Intercropping can improve yield and nitrogen use efficiency in organic vegetable production by pairing crops with complementary resource use. An intercrop field experiment was conducted to determine yield, root growth and nitrogen (N) dy-namics using faba bean (Vicia fabaL.) grown as a vegetable and pointed cabbage (Brassica oleraceavar. capitatacv. conica). Both crops were grown in monocrop-ping (MC) and intercropping systems (IC). Minirhizotrons were used to measure root growth. Yield of pointed cabbage per metre row was 28% higher under the IC system than under MC, whereas faba bean yield as fresh seeds did not differ. The land equivalent ratio was 1.06, showing that improved yield under IC re-sulted from efficient land resource use. Even though MC cabbage had the highest aboveground biomass, total N accumulation was higher under IC and MC faba bean systems. Both root frequency and intensity were greater under IC faba bean rows compared with MC faba bean because of the presence of cabbage roots in faba bean rows. Monocropped cabbage had the highest root intensity and the lowest amount of soil mineral N in the 0– 1.5 m depth after harvest. Monocropped cabbage was efficient in assimilating N, whereas MC faba bean was efficient in exporting N as harvestable yield. The nitrogen use efficiency using the IC system (75%) was higher than growing faba bean (44%) and cabbage (65%) alone. Thus, faba bean as an intercrop in organic cabbage production systems improves land and N use efficiency by complementary root growth.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Agrovoc keywords:
faba beans -> broad beans
cabbage (plant) -> Brassica oleracea capitata
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems
Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Vegetables
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic > CORE Organic Cofund > SUREVEG
Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > Faculty of Science and Technology > Department of Food Science
Denmark > Innovation Fund Denmark
Deposited By: Kristensen, Ph.D. Hanne Lakkenborg
ID Code:43219
Deposited On:18 Jan 2022 16:04
Last Modified:18 Jan 2022 16:04
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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