3 years ago

Nitrogen uptake and transfer in a soybean/maize intercropping system in the karst region of southwest China

Nitrogen uptake and transfer in a soybean/maize intercropping system in the karst region of southwest China
Zhigang Zou, Hao Zhang, Zhenqian Zhang, Youzhi Li, Fuping Zeng
Nitrogen (N) deficiency occurs in over 80% of karst soil of southwest China, which restricts regional agricultural production. To test whether N fixed by legumes becomes available to nonfixing companion species, N fluxes between soybean and maize under no, partial, and total restriction of root contact were measured on a karst site in southwest China. N content and its transfer between soybean and maize intercrops were explored in a 2-year plot experiment, with N movement between crops monitored using 15N isotopes. Mesh barrier (30 μm) and no restrictions barrier root separation increased N uptake of maize by 1.28%–3.45% and 3.2%–3.45%, respectively. N uptake by soybean with no restrictions root separation was 1.23 and 1.56 times higher than that by mesh and solid barriers, respectively. In the unrestricted root condition, N transfer from soybean to maize in no restrictions barrier was 2.34–3.02 mg higher than that of mesh barrier. Therefore, it was implied that soybean/maize intercropping could improve N uptake and transfer efficiently in the karst region of southwest China. Soil nitrogen (N) content changes and its transfer between soybean and maize intercrops were explored in a 2-year plot experiment. N uptake and transfer in soybean/maize intercropping were mediated by soil N level.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3295

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