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Nitrogen fixation by common beans in crop mixtures is influenced by growth rate of associated species

Singh, Akanksha; Schoeb, Christian and Iannetta, Pietro (2023) Nitrogen fixation by common beans in crop mixtures is influenced by growth rate of associated species. Nitrogen fixation by common beans in crop mixtures is influenced by growth rate of associated species, 23, pp. 1-12.

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Document available online at: https://bmcplantbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12870-023-04204-z

Summary in the original language of the document

Background: Legumes can fx atmospheric nitrogen (N) and facilitate N availability to their companion plants in crop mixtures. However, biological nitrogen fxation (BNF) of legumes in intercrops varies largely with the identity of the legume species. The aim of our study was to understand whether BNF and concentration of plant nutrients by common bean is infuenced by the identity of the companion plant species in crop mixtures. In this greenhouse pot study, common beans were cultivated with another legume (chickpea) and a cereal (Sorghum). We compared BNF, crop biomass and nutrient assimilation of all plant species grown in monocultures with plants grown in crop mixtures.
Results: We found beans to exhibit low levels of BNF, and to potentially compete with other species for available soil N in crop mixtures. The BNF of chickpeas however, was enhanced when grown in mixtures. Furthermore, biomass, phosphorous and potassium values of chickpea and Sorghum plants were higher in monocultures, compared to in mixtures with beans; suggesting competitive efects of beans on these plants. Concentration of calcium, magnesium and zinc in beans was higher when grown with chickpeas than with Sorghum.
Conclusions: It is generally assumed that legumes beneft their companion plant species. Our study highlights the contrary and shows that the specifc benefts of cereal-legume mixtures are dependent on the growth rate of the species concerned. We further highlight that the potential of legume-legume mixtures is currently undervalued and may play a strong role in increasing N use efciency of intercrop based systems.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:legumes, nitrogen fixation, crop diversification
Agrovoc keywords:
nitrogen fixation
crop diversification -> diversification
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Cereals, pulses and oilseeds
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: Switzerland > ETHZ - Agrarwissenschaften
UK > Other organizations United Kingdom
Deposited By: Singh, Dr. Akanksha
ID Code:52744
Deposited On:11 Mar 2024 11:14
Last Modified:11 Mar 2024 11:14
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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