, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 193-202

Adaptation and competition in mixtures of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.)

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Six pure lines and four mixtures were grown in six environments throughout lowland Papua New Guinea. There were no significant transgressive increases in the grain yield of mixtures above their pure line components, and mixture yields were adequately predicted by the mean of components. In yield stability it was found that the individual buffering of pure lines was of more importance than population buffering, and that the magnitude of population buffering varied with the particular combination of components. Competitive effects in all the mixtures were of the compensating type. Dramatic changes in mixture composition resulting from natural selection precluded their use in local agriculture. The outcome of competition in mixtures was strongly influenced by the growing environment, such that selective index was correlated to general fertility.