Special Issue "Increasing Temporal Diversity: Potential of Grassland Leys in Crop Rotations for Sustainable Agriculture"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 4732
Interests: grasslands; integrated production systems; dairy production; ecological intensification; grazing systems; nitrogen cycling
Interests: multispecies mixtures; grasslands; plant specialized metabolized; dairy production; greenhouse gas emissions
The continuous monoculture cropping of crops such as grassland forages, wheat, maize, or other cereals is associated with several negative externalities, including greenhouse gas emissions, soil nutrient and organic matter depletion, weed invasion, and reduction in carbon stocks. Multi-species grassland leys provide significant benefits for sustainable forage production, due to improved niche exploitation and resource use efficiency. Compared to monocultures, these benefits can include yield increases, resilience and resistance towards environmental stresses, pest suppression, reduction of nitrogen fertilizer requirements, increased soil health, higher carbon sequestration rates, and increased animal health and productivity. When included in a crop rotation, these benefits provide legacy effects that include nitrogen provision and improved soil health for the following crop and a reduction in weed pressure. Hence, ley systems – especially when grazing occurs – can provide additional benefits compared to permanent grasslands while at the same time allowing for a much better control of species proportions, thus providing the ability to establish specifically designed mixtures for particular purposes and environmental or soil conditions. However, while the benefits of multispecies mixtures compared to grass monocultures regarding nitrogen fertilizer replacement and weed suppression potential has been shown to be effective across a wide range of conditions, other benefits and particularly the benefits for follow-on crops in crop rotations are less researched.
Hence, we invite you to submit papers on (but not limited to) the following topics: (1) Nitrogen transfers from grassland leys containing legumes to a follow on crop, (2) effect of grassland termination (timing of ploughing, conservation tillage vs ploughing etc) on the conservation of soil carbon and nitrogen stocks, (3) plant–soil interactions in grassland leys (e.g., improved rooting depths from macropores of grassland ley, change in microbial communities, etc.) and their impact on the agronomic potential of follow-on crops and the soil organic carbon stocks, (4) benefits from improved biodiversity, both intrinsic (e.g., higher micro-/macrofauna diversity due to habitat diversity/quality), and agronomic/environmental (e.g., weed suppression and weed seed predation, pollination services, pest control), and (5) modelling of diversity effects, whole-system analyses of crop rotations in mixed farming system approaches compared to monocropping and/or permanent grasslands and decision-supporting tools.
Prof. Dr. Friedhelm Taube
Dr. Carsten Malisch
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Crop rotation Grassland ley
- Multispecies mixtures
- Diversity effects
- Life cycle analysis
- Mixed farming systems
- Nitrogen transfer