Paper Information

Journal:   JOURNAL OF AGROECOLOGY (كشاورزي بوم شناختي)   2017 , Volume 7 , Number 2 #G0056; Page(s) 120 To 133.
 
Paper: 

EFFECT OF CONSERVATION AND CONVENTIONAL TILLAGE ON WEEDS BIODIVERSITY AND WATER AND NITROGEN USE EFFICIENCY IN SOLE AND ADDITIVE INTERCROPPING OF SOYBEAN WITH SUNFLOWER

 
Author(s):  SEYEDI MOHSEN, HAMZEI JAVAD*
 
* DEPARTMENT OF CROP PRODUCTION AND PLANT BREEDING, FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE, BU-ALI SINA UNIVERSITY, HAMEDAN, IRAN
 
Abstract: 

Introduction: Sustainable agriculture is a kind of agriculture to human interests, uses resources more efficiently, and is in balance with the environment. One of the key strategies in sustainable agriculture is diversity restoration to agricultural environments and its effective management. Intercropping is an effective way to achieve sustainable agriculture. In comparison to a sole crop, intercropping better utilizes nutrients, water, and land (Fuente et al., 2014; Zhang et al., 2011). Conservation tillage also helps retain water and soil, and increases crop yield. This experiment was done to evaluate the effect of conservation and conventional tillage on biodiversity and water and nitrogen use efficiency in sole and additive intercropping of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) with sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.).
Materials and methods: The experiment was conducted at the Bu-Ali Sina University, during the growing seasons of 2013-14. Tillage (conventional tillage and conservation tillage by chisel) and different planting patterns (sunflower and soybean sole cropping with weeding; sunflower and soybean sole cropping without weeding; and additive intercropping of 30%, 60% and 90% soybean with sunflower) were considered as main plots and subplots, respectively. Grain yield was determined for sunflower and soybean. Land equivalent ratio (LER) was calculated to measure efficiency of intercropping compared to pure cropping (Banik et al., 2006). Weed species, density and biomass were determined for weed infested treatments. Indices of Shannon-Wiener and Margalef for weed species were also used for studying biodiversity. SAS ver. 9.1 procedures and programs were used for analysis of variance (ANOVA) calculations.
Results and discussion: The highest total weed density (50.50 plant m-2) and biomass (312.50 g m-2) were obtained from sunflower sole cropping without weeding at chisel tillage. Intercropping significantly changed weed density compared to sole cropping, as weed density and weed biomass were decreased in the intercropping systems. Indices of Shannon-Wiener and Margalef for intercrops were also lower than those for sole crops. The lowest Shannon-Wiener (1.22) and Margalef (1.12) indices for weeds were obtained with the treatment of 90% soybean + sunflower under conservation tillage. The highest grain yield of sunflower (363.00 g m-2) was achieved with a sole cropping treatment with weeding, but the intercropping system decreased this. Soybean grain yield also decreased with intercropping. Intercropping systems could increase water and nitrogen use efficiency in comparison with sunflower sole cropping without weeding. The highest land equivalent ratio (1.28) and relative value total (1.68) belonged to additive intercropping of 60% soybean + sunflower. One of the important benefits of intercropping is the higher productivity and profitability per unit area (Zhang et al., 2011). When the value of LER is less than 1, the intercropping negatively affects the growth and yield of crops grown in mixtures. When the value of LER is greater than 1 (LER>1), however, the intercropping favors the growth and yield of the crops. (Zhang et al., 2011). Moreover, the total land use efficiency was higher in the intercropping system compared to the sole cropping system, indicating the advantage of intercropping over sole cropping in utilizing environmental resources for crop growth (Fuente et al., 2014; Zhang et al., 2011).
Conclusion: Generally, weed density and weed biomass were lower in intercropping systems than in pure cropping. Intercropping systems also increased water and nitrogen use efficiency in comparison with sunflower sole cropping. Therefore, additive intercropping of soybean with sunflower was more useful than sole cropping in terms of weed control and land use efficiency.

 
Keyword(s): BIODIVERSITY, GRAIN YIELD, LAND USE EFFICIENCY, SOYBEAN, SUNFLOWER
 
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