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Agronomy 2019, 9(3), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9030150

Impact of Increasing Maize Densities on Agronomic Performances and the Community Stability of Productivity of Maize/Peanut Intercropping Systems

1
Crop Research Institute, Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Ecology and Physiology, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Jinan 250100, China
2
College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250100, China
3
National Engineering Laboratory of Wheat and Maize, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Jinan 250100, China
4
Maize Research Institute, Key Laboratory of Maize Biology and Genetic Breeding in North Huanghuai Plain of Ministry of Agriculture, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Jinan 250100, China
5
College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
6
College of Geography and Environment, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250100, China
7
School of Agriculture, Ludong University, Yantai 264025, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 18 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 22 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Innovative Cropping Systems)
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PDF [7366 KB, uploaded 22 March 2019]
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Abstract

Rational crop community structure plays an important role in maximizing the intercropping yield advantage. Effects of increasing maize densities in maize (Zea mays L.)/peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) intercropping on yields and other agronomic traits, and the community stability of productivity were conducted across three different experimental sites. There were significant and positive correlations between maize densities and both maize grain/biomass yields and corresponding partial land equivalent ratios (LERs) across all three locations; but grain/biomass yields and partial LERs of peanut were all negatively correlated with maize densities in each or across all locations. LERs of grain yields averaged over three locations ranged from 0.89 to 0.98, while LERs of biomass yields ranged from 0.94 to 1.09 (>1.0 except for the maize inter-plant distance of 27 cm), indicating the intercropping advantage on biomass yields but not grain yields. Peanut had significantly lower kernel harvest indexes than those in monoculture. Excessive narrowing maize inter-plant distances reduced the community stability of productivity severely (especially for maize and total LERs) and are more likely to lead to abnormal maize and peanut plants. Therefore, a rational increase of maize densities in intercropping is suggested to keep the balance between maize and peanut and the comprehensive yield advantage. View Full-Text
Keywords: intercropping; density; competition; yield advantage; community stability; harvest index intercropping; density; competition; yield advantage; community stability; harvest index
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Xia, H.; Wang, L.; Xue, Y.; Kong, W.; Xue, Y.; Yu, R.; Xu, H.; Wang, X.; Wang, J.; Liu, Z.; Guo, X. Impact of Increasing Maize Densities on Agronomic Performances and the Community Stability of Productivity of Maize/Peanut Intercropping Systems. Agronomy 2019, 9, 150.

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