Next Article in Journal
Adaptive Response of a Native Mediterranean Grapevine Cultivar Upon Short-Term Exposure to Drought and Heat Stress in the Context of Climate Change
Next Article in Special Issue
Assessing the Origin of Phosphonic Acid Residues in Organic Vegetable and Fruit Crops: The Biofosf Project Multi-Actor Approach
Previous Article in Journal
Chemical Traits of Fermented Alfalfa Brown Juice: Its Implications on Physiological, Biochemical, Anatomical, and Growth Parameters of Celosia
Previous Article in Special Issue
Sustainability Assessment of the Green Compost Production Chain from Agricultural Waste: A Case Study in Southern Italy
Article

High Maize Density Alleviates the Inhibitory Effect of Soil Nitrogen on Intercropped Pea

by 1,2,†, 1,2,†, 3, 1,2, 1,2, 1,2, 1,2 and 1,2,*
1
Gansu Provincial Key Laboratory of Aridland Crop Science, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, China
2
College of Agronomy, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, China
3
Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minneapolis, MN 55108, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cai Zhao and Zhilong Fan contributed equally to this work.
Agronomy 2020, 10(2), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10020248
Received: 12 January 2020 / Revised: 31 January 2020 / Accepted: 4 February 2020 / Published: 7 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agroecology and Organic Agriculture for Sustainable Crop Production)
Nitrogen (N) fixation is essential in the development of sustainable agriculture, but nodulation of legumes is usually inhibited by N fertilization. In this study, we evaluated the increased density of intercropped maize (Zea mays L.) as a means to alleviate the inhibitory effect of soil mineral N on intercropped pea (Pisum sativum L.) and improve system performance. A field experiment was conducted in the Hexi Corridor region of northwestern China from 2012 to 2014. The experiment consisted of monoculture pea, monoculture maize, and a pea/maize strip-intercropping system. Two levels of N fertilization were evaluated in both cropping systems during the co-growth period of intercropping, i.e., 0 kg N ha−1 (N0) and 135 kg N ha−1 (N1), and three maize densities were evaluated with both levels of N fertilization in the intercropping system, i.e., 45,000 plants ha−1 (D1), 52,500 plants ha−1 (D2), and 60,000 plants ha−1 (D3). The application of N reduced the number of nodules of intercropped pea by 135% at D1 and by 9% at D2 compared to no application of N, in all the years examined. The alleviation of the inhibitory effect of soil mineral N on the nodulation of intercropped pea (Cis) was calculated as the percentage increase in nodulation with intercropping relative to monoculture for a given level of N fertilization. With the application of N, Cis was improved by increased intercropped maize density (D3 > D2 > D1) at all stages. The internal efficiency of nitrogen (IEN) of pea was improved with intercropping and, on average, was 19% and 12% greater at D3 than at D1 and D2, respectively. These results demonstrate that increased maize density can alleviate the inhibitory effect of soil N on the nodulation of pea and sustain the productivity of maize/pea intercropping while reducing N fertilizer requirements in arid regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: maize/pea intercropping; plant density; nitrogen use efficiency; root nodules maize/pea intercropping; plant density; nitrogen use efficiency; root nodules
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Zhao, C.; Fan, Z.; Coulter, J.A.; Yin, W.; Hu, F.; Yu, A.; Fan, H.; Chai, Q. High Maize Density Alleviates the Inhibitory Effect of Soil Nitrogen on Intercropped Pea. Agronomy 2020, 10, 248. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10020248

AMA Style

Zhao C, Fan Z, Coulter JA, Yin W, Hu F, Yu A, Fan H, Chai Q. High Maize Density Alleviates the Inhibitory Effect of Soil Nitrogen on Intercropped Pea. Agronomy. 2020; 10(2):248. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10020248

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhao, Cai, Zhilong Fan, Jeffrey A. Coulter, Wen Yin, Falong Hu, Aizhong Yu, Hong Fan, and Qiang Chai. 2020. "High Maize Density Alleviates the Inhibitory Effect of Soil Nitrogen on Intercropped Pea" Agronomy 10, no. 2: 248. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10020248

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop