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Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2294; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122294

Nutrient Concentrations of Bush Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Cultivated in Subarctic Soils Managed with Intercropping and Willow (Salix spp.) Agroforestry

1
Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, ON M1C 1A4, Canada
2
School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
3
Engineering and Environmental Technologies, Georgian College, Barrie, ON L4M 3X9, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 October 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 6 December 2017 / Published: 11 December 2017
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Abstract

To ease food insecurities in northern Canada, some remote communities started gardening initiatives to gain more access to locally grown foods. Bush beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) were assessed for N, P, K, Mg, and Ca concentrations of foliage as indicators of plant nutrition in a calcareous silty loam soil of northern Ontario James Bay lowlands. Crops were grown in sole cropping and intercropping configurations, with comparisons made between an open field and an agroforestry site enclosed with willow (Salix spp.) trees. Foliage chemical analysis of the sites revealed an abundance of Ca, adequacies for Mg and N, and deficiencies in P and K. Intercropping bean and potato did not show significant crop–crop facilitation for nutrients. The agroforestry site showed to be a superior management practice for the James Bay lowland region, specifically for P. The agroforestry site had significantly greater P for bean plant (p = 0.024) and potato foliage (p = 0.002) compared to the open site. It is suspected that the presence of willows improve plant available P to bean and potatoes by tree root—crop root interactions and microclimate enhancements. View Full-Text
Keywords: plant nutrients; subarctic agriculture; agroforestry; intercropping; bush bean; potato; ternary plots; northern agriculture management plant nutrients; subarctic agriculture; agroforestry; intercropping; bush bean; potato; ternary plots; northern agriculture management
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Wilton, M.J.; Karagatzides, J.D.; Tsuji, L.J.S. Nutrient Concentrations of Bush Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Cultivated in Subarctic Soils Managed with Intercropping and Willow (Salix spp.) Agroforestry. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2294.

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