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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mississippi State, Mississippi » Crop Science Research Laboratory » Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #330603

Research Project: Integration of Site-Specific Crop Production Practices and Industrial and Animal Agricultural Byproducts to Improve Agricultural Competitiveness and Sustainability

Location: Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research

Title: Nitrogen uptake and transfer in broad bean and garlic strip intercropping systems

Author
item Tang, Qiuxiang - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item Liu, Hongbin - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item Tewolde, Haile
item Jiang, Pingan - Xinjiang Agricultural University
item Lei, Baokun - Yunnan Academy Of Agriculture Sciences
item Zhai, Limei - Chinese Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item Ren, Tianzhi - Ministry Of Agriculture - China

Submitted to: Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/4/2017
Publication Date: 2/3/2018
Citation: Tang, Q., Liu, H., Tewolde, H., Jiang, P., Lei, B., Zhai, L., Ren, T. 2018. Nitrogen uptake and transfer in broad bean and garlic strip intercropping systems. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science. 17(1):220-230. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61772-6.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2095-3119(17)61772-6

Interpretive Summary: Broad bean, like other legume crops, has the ability to convert inert nitrogen gas to chemical forms that can be used by plants for growth. Garlic, however, does not have this ability. The nitrogen need by garlic may partially be met by intercropping it with broad bean. This study was conducted to quantify the amount of nitrogen that transfers from broad bean to garlic when both crops are planted in the same soil. Field and pot studies were carried out in the Erhai Lake region in China using stable nitrogen isotope (15N) as a tracer applied to the soil or injected into broad bean plants. The results showed that intercropping of garlic and broad bean increased the absorption of soil-applied fertilizer nitrogen from 32% for monocrop broad bean and 41% for monocrop garlic to 47% if the two crops were intercropped. Nearly 15% of isotopic nitrogen injected into petioles of broad bean plants intercropped with garlic was recovered in garlic plant parts at harvest. The transfer of 15% of nitrogen from broad bean to intercropped garlic suggests garlic production can benefit from the ability of broad bean to convert nitrogen gas to plant-usable forms. The results provide a basis for optimizing the nitrogen fertilizer management of non-legume crops like garlic when intercropped with legumes like broad bean.

Technical Abstract: Competition and complementary N utilization and transfer in an intercropping system of garlic and broad bean have been rarely investigated. The objectives of this study were to quantify N uptake and utilization by intercropped broad bean and garlic and determine the magnitude of N transfer from broad bean to garlic. Field and pot trials were carried out in the Erhai Lake region in China using 15N tracer applied to the soil or injected into broad bean plants. Intercropping of garlic and broad bean increased N absorption (47.2% of applied) compared with monocrop broad bean (31.9%) or monocrop garlic (40.7%) and reduced soil residual N. Nearly 15% of 15N injected into petioles of broad bean plants intercropped with garlic was recovered in garlic plant parts at harvest, suggesting that N transferred from broad bean to intercropped garlic plants. The findings provide a basis for evaluating legumes’ role in optimizing N fertilization when intercropped with non-legume crops.