Mediterranean forage legumes grown alone or in mixture with annual ryegrass: biomass production, N2 fixation, and indices of intercrop efficiency

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Abstract

Aims: To evaluate the productivity and N2 fixation of a range of Mediterranean forage legume species as well as their ability to be grown in mixture with a forage grass, and to verify whether N transfer occurs from the legume to the non-legume component of the mixtures and, if so, to what extent this process is affected by legume species. Methods: Seven legume species (Hedysarum coronarium L., Medicago scutellata L., Trifolium resupinatum L., Trifolium squarrosum L., Trigonella foenum-graecum L., Vicia sativa L., Vicia villosa Roth) were grown alone or in mixture with annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum L.). Biomass and N yields and biological N2 fixation (15N dilution technique) were measured. N transfer from legume to the non-legume component was also assessed. The efficiency of the intercrops was evaluated using the land equivalent ratio (LER), aggressivity index, and competitive ratio. Results: Differences were observed among the monocropped legumes for biomass yield, N2 fixation, and ability to utilize inorganic soil N. Moreover, the proportion of legume species to the total biomass yield of the intercrop varied from 30 % (T. resupinatum) to 69 % (T. foenum-graecum). All intercrops showed an advantage over monocrops in terms of biomass and N yields (LER and NLER values always >1). No N transfer occurred from legume to ryegrass in any of the mixtures. Conclusions: The large differences observed among the studied legumes must be taken into account when trying to develop cropping systems with more efficient N use. Moreover, as all legume–ryegrass intercrops used natural resources more efficiently than pure crops, intercropping is a relevant cropping strategy for sustainable agricultural systems in Mediterranean environments.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)395-407
Numero di pagine13
RivistaDefault journal
Volume402
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2016

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forage legumes
Lolium
fixation
forage
biomass production
legumes
biomass
Trifolium resupinatum
Medicago scutellata
cropping practice
Hedysarum coronarium
Trigonella foenum-graecum
index
Vicia sativa
Vicia villosa
Trifolium
forage grasses
Mediterranean environment
Lolium multiflorum
intercropping

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science

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@article{287a6246382c4ecca173cf6c763a5ec2,
title = "Mediterranean forage legumes grown alone or in mixture with annual ryegrass: biomass production, N2 fixation, and indices of intercrop efficiency",
abstract = "Aims: To evaluate the productivity and N2 fixation of a range of Mediterranean forage legume species as well as their ability to be grown in mixture with a forage grass, and to verify whether N transfer occurs from the legume to the non-legume component of the mixtures and, if so, to what extent this process is affected by legume species. Methods: Seven legume species (Hedysarum coronarium L., Medicago scutellata L., Trifolium resupinatum L., Trifolium squarrosum L., Trigonella foenum-graecum L., Vicia sativa L., Vicia villosa Roth) were grown alone or in mixture with annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum L.). Biomass and N yields and biological N2 fixation (15N dilution technique) were measured. N transfer from legume to the non-legume component was also assessed. The efficiency of the intercrops was evaluated using the land equivalent ratio (LER), aggressivity index, and competitive ratio. Results: Differences were observed among the monocropped legumes for biomass yield, N2 fixation, and ability to utilize inorganic soil N. Moreover, the proportion of legume species to the total biomass yield of the intercrop varied from 30 {\%} (T. resupinatum) to 69 {\%} (T. foenum-graecum). All intercrops showed an advantage over monocrops in terms of biomass and N yields (LER and NLER values always >1). No N transfer occurred from legume to ryegrass in any of the mixtures. Conclusions: The large differences observed among the studied legumes must be taken into account when trying to develop cropping systems with more efficient N use. Moreover, as all legume–ryegrass intercrops used natural resources more efficiently than pure crops, intercropping is a relevant cropping strategy for sustainable agricultural systems in Mediterranean environments.",
author = "Gaetano Amato and Dario Giambalvo and Paolo Ruisi and {Di Miceli}, Giuseppe and Frenda, {Alfonso Salvatore} and Sergio Saia and Valeria Urso",
year = "2016",
language = "English",
volume = "402",
pages = "395--407",
journal = "Default journal",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mediterranean forage legumes grown alone or in mixture with annual ryegrass: biomass production, N2 fixation, and indices of intercrop efficiency

AU - Amato, Gaetano

AU - Giambalvo, Dario

AU - Ruisi, Paolo

AU - Di Miceli, Giuseppe

AU - Frenda, Alfonso Salvatore

AU - Saia, Sergio

AU - Urso, Valeria

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - Aims: To evaluate the productivity and N2 fixation of a range of Mediterranean forage legume species as well as their ability to be grown in mixture with a forage grass, and to verify whether N transfer occurs from the legume to the non-legume component of the mixtures and, if so, to what extent this process is affected by legume species. Methods: Seven legume species (Hedysarum coronarium L., Medicago scutellata L., Trifolium resupinatum L., Trifolium squarrosum L., Trigonella foenum-graecum L., Vicia sativa L., Vicia villosa Roth) were grown alone or in mixture with annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum L.). Biomass and N yields and biological N2 fixation (15N dilution technique) were measured. N transfer from legume to the non-legume component was also assessed. The efficiency of the intercrops was evaluated using the land equivalent ratio (LER), aggressivity index, and competitive ratio. Results: Differences were observed among the monocropped legumes for biomass yield, N2 fixation, and ability to utilize inorganic soil N. Moreover, the proportion of legume species to the total biomass yield of the intercrop varied from 30 % (T. resupinatum) to 69 % (T. foenum-graecum). All intercrops showed an advantage over monocrops in terms of biomass and N yields (LER and NLER values always >1). No N transfer occurred from legume to ryegrass in any of the mixtures. Conclusions: The large differences observed among the studied legumes must be taken into account when trying to develop cropping systems with more efficient N use. Moreover, as all legume–ryegrass intercrops used natural resources more efficiently than pure crops, intercropping is a relevant cropping strategy for sustainable agricultural systems in Mediterranean environments.

AB - Aims: To evaluate the productivity and N2 fixation of a range of Mediterranean forage legume species as well as their ability to be grown in mixture with a forage grass, and to verify whether N transfer occurs from the legume to the non-legume component of the mixtures and, if so, to what extent this process is affected by legume species. Methods: Seven legume species (Hedysarum coronarium L., Medicago scutellata L., Trifolium resupinatum L., Trifolium squarrosum L., Trigonella foenum-graecum L., Vicia sativa L., Vicia villosa Roth) were grown alone or in mixture with annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum L.). Biomass and N yields and biological N2 fixation (15N dilution technique) were measured. N transfer from legume to the non-legume component was also assessed. The efficiency of the intercrops was evaluated using the land equivalent ratio (LER), aggressivity index, and competitive ratio. Results: Differences were observed among the monocropped legumes for biomass yield, N2 fixation, and ability to utilize inorganic soil N. Moreover, the proportion of legume species to the total biomass yield of the intercrop varied from 30 % (T. resupinatum) to 69 % (T. foenum-graecum). All intercrops showed an advantage over monocrops in terms of biomass and N yields (LER and NLER values always >1). No N transfer occurred from legume to ryegrass in any of the mixtures. Conclusions: The large differences observed among the studied legumes must be taken into account when trying to develop cropping systems with more efficient N use. Moreover, as all legume–ryegrass intercrops used natural resources more efficiently than pure crops, intercropping is a relevant cropping strategy for sustainable agricultural systems in Mediterranean environments.

UR - http://hdl.handle.net/10447/179274

UR - http://www.wkap.nl/journalhome.htm/0032-079X

M3 - Article

VL - 402

SP - 395

EP - 407

JO - Default journal

JF - Default journal

ER -