Crucifer-legume cover crop mixtures provide effective sulphate catch crop and sulphur green manure services
Background and aims
Crucifers grown as cover crops are known to reduce sulphate leaching (S catch-crop service) and release large amounts of mineral sulphate for the subsequent cash crop once incorporated into the soil (S green-manure service). Crucifer-legume cover crop mixtures are effective to obtain high nitrogen related services, but few data exist on their performances for S-related services. Our study aimed to assess performances of a wide variety of bispecific crucifer-legume mixtures designed to provide soil S catch-crop and S green-manure services.
A two-year field experiment was conducted at two sites near Toulouse, France (silt clay loam soil) and Orléans, France (sandy loam soil) in which cultivars from eight crucifer species and nine legume species were tested as sole and bispecific cover crops.
Crucifer-legume mixtures and crucifer sole cover crops provided the same level of S catch-crop service (12 kg S ha−1), significantly higher than that of legume sole cover crops (4 kg S ha−1). Similarly, crucifer-legume mixtures provided almost the same level of S green-manure service (5.5 kg S ha−1) as crucifer sole cover crops (6.5 kg S ha−1).
Our results demonstrate the compatibility and complementarity of certain crucifer and legume species when grown together to provide S and N catch-crop and green-manure services. For a same cover crop species no strong cultivar effect has been highlighted in our growing conditions.
KeywordsCover crop Sulphate catch crop Sulphur green manure Intercropping Interaction Brassicaceae-Fabaceae mixture
This study was part of the CRUCIAL project, which was financially supported by the French Ministry of Agriculture (CASDAR project no. C-2013-05) and the Occitanie Region (CLE project no. 13053068). The authors would like to thank Annick Basset for technical assistance at La Vannelière research site of the seed company Jouffray Drillaud and for her expert advice in selecting cover crop mixtures for the project. We also thank Cedric Monprofit from RAGT Semences for his expert advice in selecting crucifer cover crops. We thank François Perdrieux and Gaël Rametti for their effective technical help at the Domaine de Lamothe site of INP-EI Purpan, and Eric Lecloux and Didier Raffaillac for their support in sampling plants and laboratory analysis. We also thank Simon Giuliano, Gaëlle van Frank, and Antoine Parisot for their helpful discussions. We thank Michelle and Michael Corson for reviewing the English language.
- Chew FS (1988) Biological effects of glucosinolates. In: Biologically active natural products Potential Uses in Agriculture pp 155–180Google Scholar
- Couëdel A, Seassau C, Wirth J, Alletto L (2017) Potentiels de régulation biotique par allélopathie et biofumigation ; services et dis-services produits par les cultures intermédiaires multiservices de crucifères. Innov Agron 62:71–85Google Scholar
- Couëdel A, Alletto L, Kirkegaard JA, Justes E, in press. Crucifer glucosinolate production in legume-crucifer cover crop mixtures. Eur J Agron. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eja.2018.02.007
- DeBoer DL, Duke SH (1982) Effects of Sulphur nutrition on nitrogen and carbon metabolism in lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) Physiol Plant 54:343–350. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1399-3054.1982.tb00269.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Eriksen J (2008) Soil sulfur cycling in temperate agricultural systems. In: Sulfur: a missing link between soils, crops, and nutrition. Agron Monogr 50:25–44Google Scholar
- Falquet B, Roux D, Henriet L et al (2014) Simple method to separate resource competition from allelopathic root interactions. Allelopath J 34:227–240Google Scholar
- Génard T (2016) Potentiel agronomique et environnemental des associations Fabacées-colza. PhD thesis. Normandie Université 132pGoogle Scholar
- Guzys S, Aksomaitiene R (2005) Migration of sulphur in limed soils differing in agricultural management. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 71:191–201. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10705-004-3175-6
- Haneklaus S, Bloem E, Schnug E (2008) History of sulfur deficiency in crops. In: Sulfur: a missing link between soils, crops, and nutrition. Agronomy Monograph 50. pp 45–58Google Scholar
- Hauggaard-Nielsen H, Gooding M, Ambus P, Corre-Hellou G, Crozat Y, Dahlmann C, Dibet A, von Fragstein P, Pristeri A, Monti M, Jensen ES (2009) Pea–barley intercropping for efficient symbiotic N2-fixation, soil N acquisition and use of other nutrients in European organic cropping systems. Field Crop Res 113:64–71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2009.04.009 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Omirou MD, Papadopoulou KK, Papastylianou I, Constantinou M, Karpouzas DG, Asimakopoulos I, Ehaliotis C (2009) Impact of nitrogen and sulfur fertilization on the composition of glucosinolates in relation to sulfur assimilation in different plant organs of broccoli. J Agric Food Chem 57:9408–9417. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf901440n CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- R Core Team (2016) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R foundation for statistical computing, Vienna. Available at: http://www.R-project.org/
- Tribouillois H, Fort F, Cruz P, Charles R, Flores O, Garnier E, Justes E (2015) A functional characterisation of a wide range of cover crop species: growth and nitrogen acquisition rates, leaf traits and ecological strategies. PLoS One 10:1–17. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0122156 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Willey RW (1979) Intercropping - its importance and research need. Part 1. Competition and yield advantages. F Crop Abstr 32:1–10Google Scholar
- Zhao FG, McGraph SP, Blake-Kalff MMA, Link A, Tucker M (2002) Crop responses to Sulphur Fertilisation in Europe. Proceedings N° 504, International Fertiliser Society, York, p 27Google Scholar