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Article

Mixed Cropping as Affected by Phosphorus and Water Supply

1
Agronomy and Crop Science, University of Rostock, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 6, 18059 Rostock, Germany
2
Institute of Bio- and Geosciences, IBG-2: Plant Sciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, 52425 Jülich, Germany
3
Bioeconomy Science Center (BioSC), c/o Forschungszentrum Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany
4
Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Genebank Department, Satellite Collections North, Parkweg 3a, 18190 Gross Luesewitz, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(10), 1506; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101506
Received: 18 August 2020 / Revised: 26 September 2020 / Accepted: 29 September 2020 / Published: 3 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy Crops: Current Status and Future Prospects)
In a future exposed to threats of climate change, sustainable biomass production will be crucial. Maize (Zea mays) and sorghum (Sorghum sp.) are important crops for human and animal nutrition, as well as for bioenergy. The aim of this study was to investigate maize and sorghum in mixed cropping with soybean (Glycine max) and faba bean (Vicia faba) regarding biomass yield, drought tolerance, phosphorus (P) availability, and enzyme activity in soil as affected by the single and combined effects of water and P supply in two outdoor pot trials with rainout shelters. Maize had the highest biomass under sufficient water supply (80% water holding capacity, WHC), but a sharp decrease of its biomass of about 60% was measured when water was limited (30% WHC). In the mixtures, drought induced reduction of biomass was less than 40%. For mixed cropping usually higher contents of labile P fractions in soil than for sole cropped monocots were found. This was especially true for the combined stress of water and P deficit and can be partly explained by a higher activity of the acid phosphatase in the soil of the mixtures. A higher yield stability of the crop mixtures makes them a suitable agronomic alternative to sole cropped maize or sorghum under suboptimal conditions of water and P shortage. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable cropping systems; drought resistance; phosphorus mobilization; enzyme activity sustainable cropping systems; drought resistance; phosphorus mobilization; enzyme activity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Eichler-Löbermann, B.; Busch, S.; Jablonowski, N.D.; Kavka, M.; Brandt, C. Mixed Cropping as Affected by Phosphorus and Water Supply. Agronomy 2020, 10, 1506. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101506

AMA Style

Eichler-Löbermann B, Busch S, Jablonowski ND, Kavka M, Brandt C. Mixed Cropping as Affected by Phosphorus and Water Supply. Agronomy. 2020; 10(10):1506. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101506

Chicago/Turabian Style

Eichler-Löbermann, Bettina, Stefanie Busch, Nicolai D. Jablonowski, Mareike Kavka, and Christine Brandt. 2020. "Mixed Cropping as Affected by Phosphorus and Water Supply" Agronomy 10, no. 10: 1506. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10101506

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