Inter- and intra-species intercropping of barley cultivars and legume species, as affected by soil phosphorus availability

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Darch, T., Giles, C. D., Blackwell, M. S. A., George, T. S., Brown, L. K., Menezes-Blackburn, D., Shand, C. A., Stutter, M. I., Lumsdon, D. G., Mezeli, M. M., Wendler, R., Zhang, H., Wearing, C., Cooper, P. and Haygarth, P. M. 2017. Inter- and intra-species intercropping of barley cultivars and legume species, as affected by soil phosphorus availability. Plant and Soil. 427 (1-2), pp. 125-138.

AuthorsDarch, T., Giles, C. D., Blackwell, M. S. A., George, T. S., Brown, L. K., Menezes-Blackburn, D., Shand, C. A., Stutter, M. I., Lumsdon, D. G., Mezeli, M. M., Wendler, R., Zhang, H., Wearing, C., Cooper, P. and Haygarth, P. M.
Abstract

Aims: Intercropping can improve plant yields and
soil phosphorus (P) use efficiency. This study
compares inter- and intra-species intercropping,
and determines whether P uptake and shoot biomass
accumulation in intercrops are affected by
soil P availability.
Methods: Four barley cultivars (Hordeum vulgare L.)
and three legume species (Trifolium subterreneum,
Ornithopus sativus and Medicago truncatula) were selected
on the basis of their contrasting root exudation
and morphological responses to P deficiency. Monocultures
and barley-barley and barley-legume intercrops
were grown for 6 weeks in a pot trial at very limiting,
slightly limiting and excess available soil P. Aboveground
biomass and shoot P were measured.
Results: Barley-legume intercrops had 10–70%
greater P accumulation and 0–40% greater biomass
than monocultures, with the greatest gains occurring
at or below the sub-critical P requirement for
barley. No benefit of barley-barley intercropping
was observed. The plant combination had no significant
effect on biomass and P uptake observed
in intercropped treatments.
Conclusions: Barley-legume intercropping shows
promise for sustainable production systems, especially
at low soil P. Gains in biomass and P uptake
come from inter- rather than intra-species
intercropping, indicating that plant diversity resulted
in decreased competition between plants for P.

KeywordsLegume ; Barley; Phosphorus availability; Plant diversity; Yield; Phosphorus uptake
Year of Publication2017
JournalPlant and Soil
Journal citation427 (1-2), pp. 125-138
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1007/s11104-017-3365-z
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeOrganic P utilization in soils (OPUS)
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online08 Aug 2017
Publication process dates
Accepted28 Jul 2017
PublisherSpringer
Copyright licenseCC BY
ISSN0032-079X

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