Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Pea–barley intercropping and short-term subsequent crop effects across European organic cropping conditions

  • original article
  • Published:
Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Grain legumes are known to increase the soil mineral nitrogen (N) content, reduce the infection pressure of soil borne pathogens, and hence enhance subsequent cereals yields. Replicated field experiments were performed throughout W. Europe (Denmark, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy) to asses the effect of intercropping pea and barley on the N supply to subsequent wheat in organic cropping systems. Pea and barley were grown either as sole crops at the recommended plant density (P100 and B100, respectively) or in replacement (P50B50) or additive (P100B50) intercropping designs. In the replacement design the total relative plant density is kept constant, while the additive design uses the optimal sole crop density for pea supplementing with ‘extra’ barley plants. The pea and barley crops were followed by winter wheat with and without N application. Additional experiments in Denmark and the United Kingdom included subsequent spring wheat with grass-clover as catch crops. The experiment was repeated over the three cropping seasons of 2003, 2004 and 2005. Irrespective of sites and intercrop design pea–barley intercropping improved the plant resource utilization (water, light, nutrients) to grain N yield with 25–30% using the Land Equivalent ratio. In terms of absolute quantities, sole cropped pea accumulated more N in the grains as compared to the additive design followed by the replacement design and then sole cropped barley. The post harvest soil mineral N content was unaffected by the preceding crops. Under the following winter wheat, the lowest mineral N content was generally found in early spring. Variation in soil mineral N content under the winter wheat between sites and seasons indicated a greater influence of regional climatic conditions and long-term cropping history than annual preceding crop and residue quality. Just as with the soil mineral N, the subsequent crop response to preceding crop was negligible. Soil N balances showed general negative values in the 2-year period, indicating depletion of N independent of preceding crop and cropping strategy. It is recommended to develop more rotational approaches to determine subsequent crop effects in organic cropping systems, since preceding crop effects, especially when including legumes, can occur over several years of cropping.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Anil L, Park RHP, Miller FA (1998) Temperate intercropping of cereals for forage: a review of the potential for growth and utilization with particular reference to the UK. Grass Forage Sci 53:301–317

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Armstrong EL, Heenan DP, Pate JS et al (1997) Nitrogen benefits of lupins, field pea, and chickpea to wheat production in south-eastern Australia. Aust J Agric Res 48:39–47

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Campbell CA, Myers RJK, Curtin D (1995) Managing nitrogen for sustainable crop production. Fert Res 42:277–296

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Chalk PM (1998) Dynamics of biologically fixed N in legume–cereal rotations: a review. Aust J Agric Res 49:303–316

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Corre-Hellou G, Crozat Y (2005) Assessment of root system dynamics of species grown in mixtures under field conditions using herbicide injection and N-15 natural abundance methods: a case study with pea barley and mustard. Plant Soil 276:177–192

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Crews TE, Peoples MB (2005) Can the synchrony of nitrogen supply and crop demand be improved in legume and fertilizer-based agroecosystems? A review. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 72:101–120

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • De Wit CT, Van den Bergh JP (1965) Competition between herbage plants. Neth J Agric Sci 13:212–221

    Google Scholar 

  • Ehaliotis C, Cadisch G, Giller KE (1998) Substrate amendments can alter microbial dynamics and N availability from maize residues to subsequent crops. Soil Biol Biochem 30:1281–1292

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Eriksen J (2001) Nitrate leaching and growth of cereal crops following cultivation of contrasting temporary grasslands. Science 136:271–281

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Eriksen J, Askegaard M, Kristensen K (2004) Nitrate leaching from an organic dairy crop rotation: the effects of manure type nitrogen input and improved crop rotation. Soil Use Manage 20:48–54

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Evans J, Fettell NA, Coventry DR et al (1991) Wheat responses after temperate crop legumes in south-eastern Australia. Aust J Agric Res 42:31–43

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gooding MJ, Kasynova E, Ruske R et al (2007) Intercropping with pulses to concentrate nitrogen and sulphur in wheat. J Agric Sci 145:469–479

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Goulding K (2004) Pathways and losses of fertilizer nitrogen at different scales. In: Mosier AR, Syers KJ, Freney JR (eds) Agriculture and the nitrogen cycle. The scientific committee on problems of the environment (SCOPE). Island Press, Covelo, pp 209–219

    Google Scholar 

  • Handayanto E, Giller KE, Cadisch G (1997) Regulating N release from legume tree prunings by mixing residues of different quality. Soil Biol Biochem 29:1417–1426

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hansen EM, Djurhuus J (1997) Nitrate leaching as influenced by soil tillage and catch crop. Soil Tillage Res 41:203–219

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harris RH, Scammell GJ, Müller WJ et al (2002) Crop productivity in relation to species of previous crops and management of previous pasture. Aust J Agric Res 53:1271–1283

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hauggaard-Nielsen H, Ambus P, Jensen ES (2001a) Interspecific competition, N use and interference with weeds in pea–barley intercropping. Field Crop Res 70:101–109

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hauggaard-Nielsen H, Ambus P, Jensen ES (2001b) Temporal and spatial distribution of roots and competition for nitrogen in pea–barley intercrops—a field study employing 32P-technique. Plant Soil 236:63–74

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Hauggaard-Nielsen H, Ambus P, Jensen ES (2003) The comparison of nitrogen use and leaching in sole cropped versus intercropped pea and barley. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 65:289–300

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Herridge DF, Marcellos H, Felton WL et al (1995) Chickpea increases soil-N fertility in cereal systems through nitrate sparing and N2 Fixation. Soil Biol Biochem 27:545–551

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Janzen HH, Schaalje GB (1992) Barley response to nitrogen and non-nutritional benefits of legume green manure. Plant Soil 142:19–30

    Google Scholar 

  • Jensen ES (1994a) Availability of nitrogen in 15N-labelled mature pea residues to subsequent crops in the field. Soil Biol Biochem 26:465–472

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jensen ES (1994b) Leaching in small lysimeters of nitrate derived from nitrogen-15-labeled field pea residues. J Environ Qual 23:1045–1050

    Google Scholar 

  • Jensen ES (1996a) Compared cycling in a soil–plant system of pea and barley residue nitrogen. Plant Soil 182:13–23

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jensen ES (1996b) Grain yield, symbiotic N2 fixation and interspecific competition for inorganic N in pea–barley intercrops. Plant Soil 182:25–38

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jensen ES, Hauggaard-Nielsen H (2003) How can increased use of biological N2 fixation in agriculture benefit the environment? Plant Soil 252:177–186

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Laberge G, Ambus P, Hauggaard-Nielsen H et al (2006) Stabilization and plant uptake of N from 15N-labelled crop residue 16.5 years after incorporation in soil. Soil Biol Biochem 38:1998–2000

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Ofori F, Stern WR (1987) Cereal-legume intercropping systems. Adv Agron 41:41–90

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Owens LB, Malone RW, Shipitalo MJ et al (2000) Lysimeter study of nitrate leaching from a corn–soybean rotation. J Environ Qual 29:467–474

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Peoples MB, Gault RR, Scammell GJ et al (1998) Effect of pasture management on the contributions of fixed N to the N economy of ley-farming systems. Aust J Agric Res 49:459–474

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • SAS (1990) SAS procedure guide. SAS Institute, Cary

    Google Scholar 

  • Sisworo WH, Mitrosuhardjo MM, Rasjid H et al (1990) The relative roles of N fixation, fertilizer, crop residues and soil in supplying N in multiple cropping systems in a humid, tropical upland cropping system. Plant Soil 121:73–82

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Stenberg M, Aronsson H, Linden B et al (1999) Soil mineral nitrogen and nitrate leaching losses in soil tillage systems combined with a catch crop. Soil Till Res 50:115–125

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stevenson FC, van Kessel C (1996) A landscape-scale assessment of the nitrogen and non-nitrogen rotation benefit of pea. Soil Sci Soc Am J 60:1797–1805

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Thorup-Kristensen K (2006) Effect of deep and shallow root systems on the dynamics of soil inorganic N during 3-year crop rotations. Plant Soil 288:233–248

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Tonitto C, David MB, Drinkwater LE (2006) Replacing bare fallows with cover crops in fertilizer-intensive cropping systems: a meta-analysis of crop yield and N dynamics. Agric Ecosyst Environ 112:58–72

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vandermeer J (1989) The ecology of intercropping. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Willey RW (1979) Intercropping—its importance and research needs part 1 competition and yield advantages. Field Crop Abstr 32:1–10

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The presented data is a part of the EU shared cost project INTERCROP (see www.Intercop.dk) funded by the 5th Framework Programme of RTD, Key Action 5—Sustainable Agriculture.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to H. Hauggaard-Nielsen.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hauggaard-Nielsen, H., Gooding, M., Ambus, P. et al. Pea–barley intercropping and short-term subsequent crop effects across European organic cropping conditions. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 85, 141–155 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10705-009-9254-y

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10705-009-9254-y

Keywords

Navigation