Optimum leaf defoliation: A new agronomic approach for increasing nutrient uptake and land equivalent ratio of maize soybean relay intercropping system

Muhammad Ali Raza, Ling Yang Feng, Wopke van der Werf, Nasir Iqbal, Imran Khan, Muhammad Jawad Hassan, Muhammad Ansar, Yuan Kai Chen, Zeng Jin Xi, Jian Yi Shi, Mukhtar Ahmed*, Feng Yang, Wenyu Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Upper canopy leaves of maize decrease the light-transmittance at middle-strata-leaves of maize and soybean canopy in maize-soybean relay-intercropping systems (MS). This affects the uptake of nutrients and distribution patterns in various plant organs of intercrop species in MS. Judicious defoliation of maize plants in MS could help to alleviate this problem and improve nutrient uptake and intercrop yields. In a two-year field experiment with MS, including the measurements of biomass production, nutrients uptake, and distribution at the organ level, and grain yields of intercrop species, maize plants were subjected to four-leaf defoliation treatments to improve the light-transmittance of maize and soybean plants. Defoliation of the topmost two-leaves (T2), four-leaves (T4), six-leaves (T6) was compared to no defoliation (T0). Compared to T0, treatment T2 improved the uptake of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in each plant part of maize by 23, 12, and 11% (grain), 22, 19, and 13% (straw), and 28, 14, and 18% (root), respectively. Defoliation also enhanced the uptake of N, P, and K in each plant part of soybean by 5, 5, and 10% (grain), 10, 17, and 13% (straw), and 14, 11, and 11% (root), respectively. The improved nutrient uptake in T2 increased the total biomass and its distribution in the root, straw, and grain of soybean and maize by 15 and 13%, and 21 and 15%, 20 and 14%, 7 and 10%, respectively compared to T0. On average, over two years, under T2, relay-cropped maize obtained 107% of the sole-yield, and relay-cropped soybean obtained 65% of the sole-yield. The T2 defoliation treatment also achieved the highest land equivalent ratio of 1.69 and 1.77, with a net profit of 1301.6 $ ha−1 and 1293.4 $ ha−1 in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Following the optimum defoliation treatment of maize in maize-soybean intercrops, i.e., defoliation of the topmost two-leaves, the nutrient uptake can be increased, and the nutrient partitioning over plant organs be better balanced. Optimum defoliation, therefore, enhances the productivity of maize-soybean intercropping systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107647
JournalField Crops Research
Volume244
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Fingerprint

intercropping
defoliation
nutrient uptake
soybean
maize
soybeans
corn
leaves
straw
transmittance
plant organs
plant anatomy
land
canopy
nutrient partitioning
uptake mechanisms
nutrient
biomass
profits and margins
biomass production

Keywords

  • Defoliation
  • Economics
  • LER
  • Nutrient
  • Relay-intercropping

Cite this

Raza, Muhammad Ali ; Feng, Ling Yang ; van der Werf, Wopke ; Iqbal, Nasir ; Khan, Imran ; Hassan, Muhammad Jawad ; Ansar, Muhammad ; Chen, Yuan Kai ; Xi, Zeng Jin ; Shi, Jian Yi ; Ahmed, Mukhtar ; Yang, Feng ; Yang, Wenyu. / Optimum leaf defoliation: A new agronomic approach for increasing nutrient uptake and land equivalent ratio of maize soybean relay intercropping system. In: Field Crops Research. 2019 ; Vol. 244.
@article{6a2fa68bc95e499ab4fe0e186673c250,
title = "Optimum leaf defoliation: A new agronomic approach for increasing nutrient uptake and land equivalent ratio of maize soybean relay intercropping system",
abstract = "Upper canopy leaves of maize decrease the light-transmittance at middle-strata-leaves of maize and soybean canopy in maize-soybean relay-intercropping systems (MS). This affects the uptake of nutrients and distribution patterns in various plant organs of intercrop species in MS. Judicious defoliation of maize plants in MS could help to alleviate this problem and improve nutrient uptake and intercrop yields. In a two-year field experiment with MS, including the measurements of biomass production, nutrients uptake, and distribution at the organ level, and grain yields of intercrop species, maize plants were subjected to four-leaf defoliation treatments to improve the light-transmittance of maize and soybean plants. Defoliation of the topmost two-leaves (T2), four-leaves (T4), six-leaves (T6) was compared to no defoliation (T0). Compared to T0, treatment T2 improved the uptake of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in each plant part of maize by 23, 12, and 11{\%} (grain), 22, 19, and 13{\%} (straw), and 28, 14, and 18{\%} (root), respectively. Defoliation also enhanced the uptake of N, P, and K in each plant part of soybean by 5, 5, and 10{\%} (grain), 10, 17, and 13{\%} (straw), and 14, 11, and 11{\%} (root), respectively. The improved nutrient uptake in T2 increased the total biomass and its distribution in the root, straw, and grain of soybean and maize by 15 and 13{\%}, and 21 and 15{\%}, 20 and 14{\%}, 7 and 10{\%}, respectively compared to T0. On average, over two years, under T2, relay-cropped maize obtained 107{\%} of the sole-yield, and relay-cropped soybean obtained 65{\%} of the sole-yield. The T2 defoliation treatment also achieved the highest land equivalent ratio of 1.69 and 1.77, with a net profit of 1301.6 $ ha−1 and 1293.4 $ ha−1 in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Following the optimum defoliation treatment of maize in maize-soybean intercrops, i.e., defoliation of the topmost two-leaves, the nutrient uptake can be increased, and the nutrient partitioning over plant organs be better balanced. Optimum defoliation, therefore, enhances the productivity of maize-soybean intercropping systems.",
keywords = "Defoliation, Economics, LER, Nutrient, Relay-intercropping",
author = "Raza, {Muhammad Ali} and Feng, {Ling Yang} and {van der Werf}, Wopke and Nasir Iqbal and Imran Khan and Hassan, {Muhammad Jawad} and Muhammad Ansar and Chen, {Yuan Kai} and Xi, {Zeng Jin} and Shi, {Jian Yi} and Mukhtar Ahmed and Feng Yang and Wenyu Yang",
year = "2019",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.fcr.2019.107647",
language = "English",
volume = "244",
journal = "Field Crops Research",
issn = "0378-4290",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

Optimum leaf defoliation: A new agronomic approach for increasing nutrient uptake and land equivalent ratio of maize soybean relay intercropping system. / Raza, Muhammad Ali; Feng, Ling Yang; van der Werf, Wopke; Iqbal, Nasir; Khan, Imran; Hassan, Muhammad Jawad; Ansar, Muhammad; Chen, Yuan Kai; Xi, Zeng Jin; Shi, Jian Yi; Ahmed, Mukhtar; Yang, Feng; Yang, Wenyu.

In: Field Crops Research, Vol. 244, 107647, 01.12.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Optimum leaf defoliation: A new agronomic approach for increasing nutrient uptake and land equivalent ratio of maize soybean relay intercropping system

AU - Raza, Muhammad Ali

AU - Feng, Ling Yang

AU - van der Werf, Wopke

AU - Iqbal, Nasir

AU - Khan, Imran

AU - Hassan, Muhammad Jawad

AU - Ansar, Muhammad

AU - Chen, Yuan Kai

AU - Xi, Zeng Jin

AU - Shi, Jian Yi

AU - Ahmed, Mukhtar

AU - Yang, Feng

AU - Yang, Wenyu

PY - 2019/12/1

Y1 - 2019/12/1

N2 - Upper canopy leaves of maize decrease the light-transmittance at middle-strata-leaves of maize and soybean canopy in maize-soybean relay-intercropping systems (MS). This affects the uptake of nutrients and distribution patterns in various plant organs of intercrop species in MS. Judicious defoliation of maize plants in MS could help to alleviate this problem and improve nutrient uptake and intercrop yields. In a two-year field experiment with MS, including the measurements of biomass production, nutrients uptake, and distribution at the organ level, and grain yields of intercrop species, maize plants were subjected to four-leaf defoliation treatments to improve the light-transmittance of maize and soybean plants. Defoliation of the topmost two-leaves (T2), four-leaves (T4), six-leaves (T6) was compared to no defoliation (T0). Compared to T0, treatment T2 improved the uptake of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in each plant part of maize by 23, 12, and 11% (grain), 22, 19, and 13% (straw), and 28, 14, and 18% (root), respectively. Defoliation also enhanced the uptake of N, P, and K in each plant part of soybean by 5, 5, and 10% (grain), 10, 17, and 13% (straw), and 14, 11, and 11% (root), respectively. The improved nutrient uptake in T2 increased the total biomass and its distribution in the root, straw, and grain of soybean and maize by 15 and 13%, and 21 and 15%, 20 and 14%, 7 and 10%, respectively compared to T0. On average, over two years, under T2, relay-cropped maize obtained 107% of the sole-yield, and relay-cropped soybean obtained 65% of the sole-yield. The T2 defoliation treatment also achieved the highest land equivalent ratio of 1.69 and 1.77, with a net profit of 1301.6 $ ha−1 and 1293.4 $ ha−1 in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Following the optimum defoliation treatment of maize in maize-soybean intercrops, i.e., defoliation of the topmost two-leaves, the nutrient uptake can be increased, and the nutrient partitioning over plant organs be better balanced. Optimum defoliation, therefore, enhances the productivity of maize-soybean intercropping systems.

AB - Upper canopy leaves of maize decrease the light-transmittance at middle-strata-leaves of maize and soybean canopy in maize-soybean relay-intercropping systems (MS). This affects the uptake of nutrients and distribution patterns in various plant organs of intercrop species in MS. Judicious defoliation of maize plants in MS could help to alleviate this problem and improve nutrient uptake and intercrop yields. In a two-year field experiment with MS, including the measurements of biomass production, nutrients uptake, and distribution at the organ level, and grain yields of intercrop species, maize plants were subjected to four-leaf defoliation treatments to improve the light-transmittance of maize and soybean plants. Defoliation of the topmost two-leaves (T2), four-leaves (T4), six-leaves (T6) was compared to no defoliation (T0). Compared to T0, treatment T2 improved the uptake of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in each plant part of maize by 23, 12, and 11% (grain), 22, 19, and 13% (straw), and 28, 14, and 18% (root), respectively. Defoliation also enhanced the uptake of N, P, and K in each plant part of soybean by 5, 5, and 10% (grain), 10, 17, and 13% (straw), and 14, 11, and 11% (root), respectively. The improved nutrient uptake in T2 increased the total biomass and its distribution in the root, straw, and grain of soybean and maize by 15 and 13%, and 21 and 15%, 20 and 14%, 7 and 10%, respectively compared to T0. On average, over two years, under T2, relay-cropped maize obtained 107% of the sole-yield, and relay-cropped soybean obtained 65% of the sole-yield. The T2 defoliation treatment also achieved the highest land equivalent ratio of 1.69 and 1.77, with a net profit of 1301.6 $ ha−1 and 1293.4 $ ha−1 in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Following the optimum defoliation treatment of maize in maize-soybean intercrops, i.e., defoliation of the topmost two-leaves, the nutrient uptake can be increased, and the nutrient partitioning over plant organs be better balanced. Optimum defoliation, therefore, enhances the productivity of maize-soybean intercropping systems.

KW - Defoliation

KW - Economics

KW - LER

KW - Nutrient

KW - Relay-intercropping

U2 - 10.1016/j.fcr.2019.107647

DO - 10.1016/j.fcr.2019.107647

M3 - Article

VL - 244

JO - Field Crops Research

JF - Field Crops Research

SN - 0378-4290

M1 - 107647

ER -