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Dynamic analysis of competition and complementarity for light and N use to understand the yield and the protein content of a durum wheat-winter pea intercrop

Bedoussac, Laurent and Justes, Eric Dynamic analysis of competition and complementarity for light and N use to understand the yield and the protein content of a durum wheat-winter pea intercrop. (2010) Plant and Soil, vol. 3 (n° 1-2). pp. 37-54. ISSN 0032-079X

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Abstract

In a previous paper (Bedoussac and Justes 2009, Plant and Soil DOI: 10.1007/s11104-009-0082-2), we showed that intercropping of durum wheat and winter pea increased the yield and protein concentration of durum wheat when early N availability was less than 120 kg N.ha-1. The aim of the present work was to understand these results by analysing intercrop species dynamics for growth, light and N acquisition. A 2-year field experiment was carried out in SW France with different fertilizer-N levels in order to compare wheat (Triticum turgidum L.) and pea (Pisum sativum L.) grown as sole crops and as an intercrop in a row substitutive design. The advantages of intercropping in low N conditions were mainly due to: i) better light use (up to 10%) thanks to species dynamic complementarity for leaf area index and height, ii) growth complementarity over time (higher growth rate of wheat until pea flowering and then of pea until wheat flowering), and iii) dynamic complementary N acquisition associated with better wheat N status throughout growth. Disadvantages, underlining poorer complementarity within the intercrop stand, were observed with ample available N in early growth. This induced higher cereal growth during winter which led to increase interspecies competition by reducing pea light absorption and consequently its biomass production.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Kluwer and Springer editors. The definitive version is available at http://www.springerlink.com/content/ur55344107g4/?p=ba552214959a4813b84feafe5d07abce&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

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