Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 79, Issue 3, pp 369–380 | Cite as

Relative competitive abilities and productivity in Ginkgo and broad bean and wheat mixtures in southern China

  • Fu-liang Cao
  • J. P. Kimmins
  • P. A. Jolliffe
  • J. R. Wang


Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba L.) is a multi-value deciduous tree species grown for the production of nuts, timber and foliage for medicinal products. Understanding the ecological and biological basis for Ginkgo agroforestry systems is essential for the design of optimum Ginkgo-crop species combinations. We established two greenhouse replacement series to examine interactions between Ginkgo and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.); and Ginkgo and broad bean (Vicia faba L.). The results showed that crop species were more competitive than Ginkgo at low Ginkgo density, but less competitive than Ginkgo at high Ginkgo density. Ginkgo: wheat ratio 5:1 and Ginkgo: broad bean ratio 5:1 had relative yield total (RYT) and relative land output (RLO) values of more than one and the largest total land output (TLO) values in respective mixtures. Therefore, these two ratios might be considered optimum Ginkgo: crop ratio for enhancing the combined biomass of the Ginkgo and crop in respective mixtures. Broad bean and wheat were more competitive than Ginkgo, which was less affected by wheat than by broad bean. However, there were compensatory interactions between Ginkgo and wheat, and Ginkgo and broad bean. There was significant belowground competition for soil N between Ginkgo and the two crop species in the Ginkgo/crop mixtures. The two mixtures outperformed monocultures of the individual species when comparing the mixtures with the crop monoculture system.


Intercrop Relative yield Replacement series Vector analysis Nitrogen use efficiency Total land output 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fu-liang Cao
    • 1
  • J. P. Kimmins
    • 2
  • P. A. Jolliffe
    • 3
  • J. R. Wang
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Forest Resources and Environmental SciencesNanjing Forestry UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Faculty of ForestryThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of AgricultureThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  4. 4.Faculty of Forestry and the Forest EnvironmentLakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada

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