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Grain Yield Stability of Cereal-Legume Intercrops Is Greater Than Sole Crops in More Productive Conditions

Weih, Martin and Karley, Alison J. and Newton, Adrian C. and Kiaer, Lars P. and Scherber, Christoph and Rubiales, Diego and Adam, Eveline and Ajal, James and Brandmeier, Jana and Pappagallo, Silvia and Villegas-Fernandez, Angel and Reckling, Moritz and Tavoletti, Stefano (2021). Grain Yield Stability of Cereal-Legume Intercrops Is Greater Than Sole Crops in More Productive Conditions. Agriculture. 11 , 11030255
[Research article]

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Abstract

The intercropping of two or more crop species on the same piece of land at a given time has been hypothesized to enhance crop yield stability. To address this hypothesis, we assessed the grain yield stability of various barley-pea and wheat-faba bean mixtures grown in seven experimental field trials (locations) across Europe during two years with contrasting weather (2017 and 2018). Three different yield stability measures were used, all based on the expected yield variability of the mixture components grown as sole crops, and the corresponding observed yield variability of the same components grown in 50:50 mixtures in a replacement design. Stability indices were calculated as ratios between the expected and observed variabilities, with values > 1 indicating greater stability of the intercrops. Mean grain yields tended to be higher in intercrops than sole crops. However, in contrast to our hypothesis, the observed (intercrop) yield stability was similar or lower than the expected (sole crop) stability in most locations except one. Furthermore, yield stability significantly increased with increasing mean yields when assessed across differentially productive locations. The results are relevant for the designing of intercropping systems as a means to increase yield stability and the resilience of cropping systems.

Authors/Creators:Weih, Martin and Karley, Alison J. and Newton, Adrian C. and Kiaer, Lars P. and Scherber, Christoph and Rubiales, Diego and Adam, Eveline and Ajal, James and Brandmeier, Jana and Pappagallo, Silvia and Villegas-Fernandez, Angel and Reckling, Moritz and Tavoletti, Stefano
Title:Grain Yield Stability of Cereal-Legume Intercrops Is Greater Than Sole Crops in More Productive Conditions
Series Name/Journal:Agriculture
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:11
Article number:11030255
Number of Pages:18
Publisher:MDPI
ISSN:2077-0472
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Agricultural Science
Keywords:barley (Hordeum vulgare), crop diversification, faba bean (Vicia faba), pea (Pisum sativum), wheat (Triticum aestivum), yield stability, intercropping
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-111441
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-111441
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3390/agriculture11030255
Web of Science (WoS)000633167600001
ID Code:23275
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Crop Production Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:15 Apr 2021 11:43
Metadata Last Modified:15 Apr 2021 11:51

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