Studies on the improvement in iron nutrition of peanut by intercropping with maize on a calcareous soil
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- Zuo, Y., Zhang, F., Li, X. et al. Plant and Soil (2000) 220: 13. doi:10.1023/A:1004724219988
Both rhizobox and field experiments were conducted to investigate nutritional interactions between peanut and maize in intercropping systems for Fe acquistion. Field observations indicated that Fe deficiency chlorosis symptoms in peanut grown in monoculture were more severe and widespread compared to those of peanuts intercropped with maize. This indicated a marked improvement in the iron nutrition of peanut intercropped with maize in the field and was further studied. In experiments with rhizoboxes, roots of maize and peanut were either allowed to interact with each other or prevented from making contact by inserting a solid plate between the root systems of the two species. A field experiment for four cropping treatments were examined: peanut grown separately in monoculture, normal peanut/maize intercropping, peanut/maize intercropping with solid plates between the root systems of the two crop species and peanut/maize intercropping with 30 μm nylon nets between the root systems. The results show that the chlorophyll and HCl-extractable Fe concentrations in young leaves of peanut in the intercropping system with unrestricted interactions of the roots of both plant species were much higher than those of peanut in monoculture. In the nylon mesh treatment, the beneficial effects of the maize extended to row 3. The improvement of Fe nutrition in the intercropping system got reduced but not diminished completely in the treatment with nylon net. It is suggested that the improvement in the Fe nutrition of peanut intercropped with maize was mainly caused by rhizosphere interactions between peanut and maize.
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