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Grain legume-cereal intercropping enhances the use of soil-derived and biologically fixed nitrogen in temperate agroecosystems: a meta-analysis

Rodriguez Gonzalez, Carolina and Carlsson, Georg and Englund, Jan-Eric and Flöhr, Adam and Pelzer, Elise and Jeuffroy, Marie-Helene and Makowski, David and Jensen, Erik Steen (2020). Grain legume-cereal intercropping enhances the use of soil-derived and biologically fixed nitrogen in temperate agroecosystems: a meta-analysis. European Journal of Agronomy. 118 , 126077 , 2-11
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Abstract

Grain legumes are known for their benefits to deliver ecosystem services on provisioning of protein-rich food and feed, reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the symbiotic nitrogen fixation function and diversification of cropping systems. Intercropping is an agroecological practice in which two or more crop species are grown simultaneously in the same field, thereby maximizing the use of resources to enhance yields in low input systemsand the resilience of cropping systems. We quantified the effect of grain legume-cereal intercropping on the useof N resources in temperate agroecosystems, focusing on dinitrogen (N2) fixation and soil-derived nitrogenacquisition using a meta-analysis of 29 field-scale studies. We estimated and compared effects of different intercrop compositions (proportion of each species in the intercrops), fertilization rates, crop species, soil properties, and other management practices on the symbiotic N2 fixation and the acquisition of soil-derived nitrogenby the cereals and grain legumes. The proportion of N derived from N2 fixation was on average 14 % (95 % CI =[11, 16]) higher in intercropped grain legumes (76 %) compared to legume sole crops (66 %). On the other hand,intercropping reduced the amount of N2 fixed (kg ha−1) by about 15 %, when N2 fixation in inter- and solecropped legumes was expressed at equivalent density by compensating for the sown legume proportion in intercrops relative to their sole crop sowing rate. The results were mainly influenced by the intercrop composition,legumes species and the method used to quantify N2 fixation. Soil-derived nitrogen acquisition in intercroppedgrain legumes was significantly reduced (−47 %, 95 % CI = [−56, −36]) compared to sole crop legumes,expressed at equivalent density, while the soil N acquired by intercropped cereals was much higher (+61 %, 95% CI = [24, 108]) than in sole crop cereals. Total soil N acquisition (legume + cereal) was significantly higherin intercrops than in legume sole crops (+25 %, 95 % CI = [1, 54]), while there was no significant differencebetween intercrops and cereal sole crops. The meta-analysis confirms and highlights that intercropping consistently stimulates complementary N use between legumes and cereals by increasing N2 fixation by grain legumes and increasing soil N acquisition in cereals. Based on the results of this analysis it would be suggested thatcropping systems diversification via intercropping can be used for simultaneous production of both cereals andgrain legumes, while increasing the use of N-sources and reducing external inputs of N fertilizers, thereby enhancing the sustainability of agriculture.

Authors/Creators:Rodriguez Gonzalez, Carolina and Carlsson, Georg and Englund, Jan-Eric and Flöhr, Adam and Pelzer, Elise and Jeuffroy, Marie-Helene and Makowski, David and Jensen, Erik Steen
Title:Grain legume-cereal intercropping enhances the use of soil-derived and biologically fixed nitrogen in temperate agroecosystems: a meta-analysis
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:118
Article number:126077
Number of Pages:11
Publisher:Elsevier
Associated Programs and Other Stakeholders:Z - SLU - Libray > Odla mera
ISSN:1161-0301
Language:English
Publication Type:Article Review/Survey
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
Keywords:Intercropping, Grain legumes, Symbiotic N2fixation, Soil N acquisition, Ecosystem services, Plant interactions
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-105924
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-105924
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.eja.2020.126077
ID Code:17155
Faculty:LTV - Fakulteten för landskapsarkitektur, trädgårds- och växtproduktionsvetenskap
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Department of Biosystems and Technology (from 130101)
(VH) > Department of Biosystems and Technology (from 130101)
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:26 Jun 2020 13:23
Metadata Last Modified:27 Jun 2020 04:01

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