M. Paul et al.: Effects of cereal-legume crop mixtures on crop and multifunctional agroecosystem performance

Bio Information

Madhuri Paul is PhD student since January 2020, within CP5 PhenoRob Cluster of Excellence, at the group of Agroecosystem and Organic Farming (INRES), University of Bonn. She is working on mixed cropping under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Thomas Döring.

Dereje Tamiru Demie is PhD student since July 2020, within CP5 PhenoRob Cluster of Excellence, at Crop Science Group, (INRES) University of Bonn. He is working on elucidating and modelling above ground resources competition (radiation) and biodiversity in crop mixture.

Sabine Seidel is PostDoc at the Crop Science Group of the University of Bonn since 2016. In May 2020 she became Junior Research Group leader within CP5 of the Excellence Cluster PhenoRob. She works on optimizing crop mixtures for a sustainable and climate-resilient crop production by combining field experiments and crop models.

Presentation Abstract

Intercropping, the agricultural practice of cultivating more than one species simultaneously at the same field, is an old and commonly used cropping practice which aims for enhancing crop performance and biodiversity as well as reducing insect and disease infestation. Besides, it allows lower inputs through reduced fertilizer and pesticide requirements, thus minimizing environmental impacts of agriculture. Management factors, e.g. plant variety, sowing density, and growing condition, affect the relative competitiveness and performance of intercropped species.

We therefore conducted two trials in 2020, one at Campus Kleinaltendorf with a low input conventional system and one at at Wiesengut with an organic system. In both trials, treatments of mixed intercropping with ten spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars and two faba bean (Vicia faba L.) cultivars were compared to treatments with sole culture of each cultivar. Additionally, two different seeding rates of 120% and 80% of their recommended sole crop densities were tested. Field data of soil moisture, light interception, plant stomatal conductance, plant height, plant and weed biomass, aphid infestation, and weed cover were taken to analyze the effects of crop mixtures on agroecosystem and crop performance. Preliminary results show that canopy radiation interception is high in sole faba bean and mix of wheat and faba bean compared with sole wheat. Soil moisture content at different depth and plant stomatal conductance is found to be highly dynamic depending on cropping system and species combination.

Authors: Madhuri Paul, Sabine Seidel, Lisa Jaspers, Samuel Julian Vincze, Simone Kristin Lantzerath, and Lars Caspersen, Thomas Döring


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