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Functional trait space in cereals and legumes grown in pure and mixed cultures is influenced more by cultivar identity than crop mixing

Ajal, James and Jäck, Ortrud and Vico, Giulia and Weih, Martin (2021). Functional trait space in cereals and legumes grown in pure and mixed cultures is influenced more by cultivar identity than crop mixing. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. 50 , 125612
[Research article]

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Abstract

More efficient resource use, especially nitrogen (N) in agricultural fields could considerably reduce the losses and spillover effects on the environment. Cereal-legume mixtures can lead to more efficient uptake of growth-limiting resources, and increase and stabilize yields, due to the variation in functional traits that facilitate partitioning of niche space. Here we identify crop mixtures with functional traits that facilitate optimal N resource use in two selected cereal-legume mixtures by using the multi-dimensional trait space concept. Combinations of pea-barley and faba bean-wheat crops were grown in the field as pure cultures and mixtures in Central Sweden, during two years with contrasting weather. The ecological niche space was defined via the n-dimensional hypervolumes represented by N pool, tiller/branch number, shoot biomass, and grain yield functional traits. Regressions and correlations allowed quantifying the relations between functional traits and plant N pools. Differences in trait space were not a result of crop mixing per se, as similar hypervolumes were found in the pure culture and mixture-grown crops. Instead, the trait space differences depended on the cultivar identities admixed. Furthermore, cereals increased their efficiency for N uptake and therefore benefitted more than the legumes in the mixtures, in terms of accumulated N and grain yields. Tiller and shoot biomass production in cereals was positively correlated to N pool accumulation during the season. Resource acquisition through increased N uptake in the mixture was associated with a reduced overlap in niche-space in the mixtures, and initial seed N pools significantly contributed to within-season N accumulation, shoot and tiller production.

Authors/Creators:Ajal, James and Jäck, Ortrud and Vico, Giulia and Weih, Martin
Title:Functional trait space in cereals and legumes grown in pure and mixed cultures is influenced more by cultivar identity than crop mixing
Series Name/Journal:Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:50
Article number:125612
Number of Pages:13
Publisher:ELSEVIER GMBH
ISSN:1433-8319
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 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:Crop mixtures, Functional traits, Hypervolume, Plant nitrogen uptake, Plant-plant interaction, Trait space
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112616
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-112616
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.ppees.2021.125612
Web of Science (WoS)000657399500001
ID Code:24765
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Crop Production Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:30 Jun 2021 12:25
Metadata Last Modified:30 Jun 2021 12:31

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