Intercropping potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) with hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) increases water use efficiency in dry conditions

Jianhong Ren, Lizhen Zhang*, Yu Duan, Jun Zhang, Jochem B. Evers, Yue Zhang, Zhicheng Su, Wopke van der Werf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Protection from soil erosion and efficient use of water are vital to sustainable dryland potato production in semi-arid regions. Introducing legumes into semi-arid agricultural systems as intercrops improves soil quality due to biological nitrogen fixation and reduced wind erosion as a result of better soil cover, but the consequences of introducing legumes for the water use efficiency of the crop system are less predictable. Here we carried out field experiments from 2014 to 2017 in Inner Mongolia, China. We compared a rotational intercropping system of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) with monocultures of potato and hairy vetch and quantified crop yield, water use efficiency and land productivity. While the relative density (the ratio of plant density in intercrop and the density in sole stand) of both crops in the intercropping was 0.5, the average relative yield of the potato over four years was 0.43, but that of the vetch was 0.87, indicating dominance of the vetch in the intercropping system. Land and water equivalent ratios, defined as the area of land or amount of water that would be needed in single cropping to achieve the same yield as in intercropping, averaged to 1.30 and 1.29 over the years, respectively, indicating high relative land and water productivity of potato/hairy vetch intercropping compared to monocultures. Vetch was a stronger competitor for water than potato with a partial water equivalent ratio of 0.83. We conclude that the potato/vetch intercropping system improves land productivity and system level water use efficiency under the rain-fed semi-arid conditions of the study site. These results are useful to optimize cropping systems for regional sustainability with consideration of both arable crop production (potato) and provision of fodder for animal husbandry (vetch).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-176
JournalField Crops Research
Volume240
Early online date15 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

Fingerprint

Vicia villosa
intercropping
water use efficiency
potato
Solanum tuberosum
potatoes
Vicia
land productivity
water
monoculture
productivity
cropping practice
legumes
animal husbandry
crop
wind erosion
China
fodder
soil cover
semiarid zones

Keywords

  • Biomass
  • Daily water use
  • Land equivalent ratio (LER)
  • Water equivalent ratio (WER)
  • Water saving

Cite this

@article{2a4374a228234c20825871fd9abfa2fe,
title = "Intercropping potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) with hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) increases water use efficiency in dry conditions",
abstract = "Protection from soil erosion and efficient use of water are vital to sustainable dryland potato production in semi-arid regions. Introducing legumes into semi-arid agricultural systems as intercrops improves soil quality due to biological nitrogen fixation and reduced wind erosion as a result of better soil cover, but the consequences of introducing legumes for the water use efficiency of the crop system are less predictable. Here we carried out field experiments from 2014 to 2017 in Inner Mongolia, China. We compared a rotational intercropping system of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) with monocultures of potato and hairy vetch and quantified crop yield, water use efficiency and land productivity. While the relative density (the ratio of plant density in intercrop and the density in sole stand) of both crops in the intercropping was 0.5, the average relative yield of the potato over four years was 0.43, but that of the vetch was 0.87, indicating dominance of the vetch in the intercropping system. Land and water equivalent ratios, defined as the area of land or amount of water that would be needed in single cropping to achieve the same yield as in intercropping, averaged to 1.30 and 1.29 over the years, respectively, indicating high relative land and water productivity of potato/hairy vetch intercropping compared to monocultures. Vetch was a stronger competitor for water than potato with a partial water equivalent ratio of 0.83. We conclude that the potato/vetch intercropping system improves land productivity and system level water use efficiency under the rain-fed semi-arid conditions of the study site. These results are useful to optimize cropping systems for regional sustainability with consideration of both arable crop production (potato) and provision of fodder for animal husbandry (vetch).",
keywords = "Biomass, Daily water use, Land equivalent ratio (LER), Water equivalent ratio (WER), Water saving",
author = "Jianhong Ren and Lizhen Zhang and Yu Duan and Jun Zhang and Evers, {Jochem B.} and Yue Zhang and Zhicheng Su and {van der Werf}, Wopke",
year = "2019",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.fcr.2018.12.002",
language = "English",
volume = "240",
pages = "168--176",
journal = "Field Crops Research",
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Intercropping potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) with hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) increases water use efficiency in dry conditions. / Ren, Jianhong; Zhang, Lizhen; Duan, Yu; Zhang, Jun; Evers, Jochem B.; Zhang, Yue; Su, Zhicheng; van der Werf, Wopke.

In: Field Crops Research, Vol. 240, 01.07.2019, p. 168-176.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Intercropping potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) with hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) increases water use efficiency in dry conditions

AU - Ren, Jianhong

AU - Zhang, Lizhen

AU - Duan, Yu

AU - Zhang, Jun

AU - Evers, Jochem B.

AU - Zhang, Yue

AU - Su, Zhicheng

AU - van der Werf, Wopke

PY - 2019/7/1

Y1 - 2019/7/1

N2 - Protection from soil erosion and efficient use of water are vital to sustainable dryland potato production in semi-arid regions. Introducing legumes into semi-arid agricultural systems as intercrops improves soil quality due to biological nitrogen fixation and reduced wind erosion as a result of better soil cover, but the consequences of introducing legumes for the water use efficiency of the crop system are less predictable. Here we carried out field experiments from 2014 to 2017 in Inner Mongolia, China. We compared a rotational intercropping system of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) with monocultures of potato and hairy vetch and quantified crop yield, water use efficiency and land productivity. While the relative density (the ratio of plant density in intercrop and the density in sole stand) of both crops in the intercropping was 0.5, the average relative yield of the potato over four years was 0.43, but that of the vetch was 0.87, indicating dominance of the vetch in the intercropping system. Land and water equivalent ratios, defined as the area of land or amount of water that would be needed in single cropping to achieve the same yield as in intercropping, averaged to 1.30 and 1.29 over the years, respectively, indicating high relative land and water productivity of potato/hairy vetch intercropping compared to monocultures. Vetch was a stronger competitor for water than potato with a partial water equivalent ratio of 0.83. We conclude that the potato/vetch intercropping system improves land productivity and system level water use efficiency under the rain-fed semi-arid conditions of the study site. These results are useful to optimize cropping systems for regional sustainability with consideration of both arable crop production (potato) and provision of fodder for animal husbandry (vetch).

AB - Protection from soil erosion and efficient use of water are vital to sustainable dryland potato production in semi-arid regions. Introducing legumes into semi-arid agricultural systems as intercrops improves soil quality due to biological nitrogen fixation and reduced wind erosion as a result of better soil cover, but the consequences of introducing legumes for the water use efficiency of the crop system are less predictable. Here we carried out field experiments from 2014 to 2017 in Inner Mongolia, China. We compared a rotational intercropping system of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) with monocultures of potato and hairy vetch and quantified crop yield, water use efficiency and land productivity. While the relative density (the ratio of plant density in intercrop and the density in sole stand) of both crops in the intercropping was 0.5, the average relative yield of the potato over four years was 0.43, but that of the vetch was 0.87, indicating dominance of the vetch in the intercropping system. Land and water equivalent ratios, defined as the area of land or amount of water that would be needed in single cropping to achieve the same yield as in intercropping, averaged to 1.30 and 1.29 over the years, respectively, indicating high relative land and water productivity of potato/hairy vetch intercropping compared to monocultures. Vetch was a stronger competitor for water than potato with a partial water equivalent ratio of 0.83. We conclude that the potato/vetch intercropping system improves land productivity and system level water use efficiency under the rain-fed semi-arid conditions of the study site. These results are useful to optimize cropping systems for regional sustainability with consideration of both arable crop production (potato) and provision of fodder for animal husbandry (vetch).

KW - Biomass

KW - Daily water use

KW - Land equivalent ratio (LER)

KW - Water equivalent ratio (WER)

KW - Water saving

U2 - 10.1016/j.fcr.2018.12.002

DO - 10.1016/j.fcr.2018.12.002

M3 - Article

VL - 240

SP - 168

EP - 176

JO - Field Crops Research

JF - Field Crops Research

SN - 0378-4290

ER -