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The efficiency of a durum wheat-winter pea intercrop to improve yield and wheat grain protein concentration depends on N availability during early growth

Bedoussac, Laurent and Justes, Eric The efficiency of a durum wheat-winter pea intercrop to improve yield and wheat grain protein concentration depends on N availability during early growth. (2010) Plant and Soil, vol. 3 (n° 1-2). pp. 19-35. ISSN 0032-079X

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Abstract

Grain protein concentration of durum wheat is often too low, particularly in low-N-input systems. The aim of our study was to test whether a durum wheat - winter pea intercrop can improve relative yield and durum wheat grain protein concentration in low-N-input systems. A 2-year field experiment was carried out in SW France with different fertilizer-N levels to compare wheat (Triticum turgidum L., cv. Nefer) and pea (winter pea, Pisum sativum L., cv. Lucy) grown as sole crops or intercrops in a row-substitutive design. Without N fertilization or when N was applied late (N available until pea flowering less than about 120 kg N ha-1), intercrops were up to 19% more efficient than sole crops for yield and up to 32% for accumulated N, but were less efficient with large fertilizer N applications. Wheat grain protein concentration was significantly higher in intercrops than in sole crops (14% on average) because more N was remobilized into wheat grain due to: i) fewer ears per square metre in intercrops and ii) a similar amount of available soil N as in sole crops due to the high pea N2 fixation rate in intercrops (88% compared to 58% in sole crops).

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Kluwer and Springer. The definitive version is available at http://www.springerlink.com/content/ur55344107g4/?p=02ea3afd63634e3abea3f873a8994e34&pi=2
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
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Institution:French research institutions > Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - INRA
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT
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Deposited By: Laurent Bedoussac
Deposited On:22 Jun 2010 12:50

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