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Acta Agronomica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (9): 1398-1406.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1006.2019.81093

• TILLAGE & CULTIVATION· PHYSIOLOGY & BIOCHEMISTRY • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effect of above- and below-ground interaction intensity on photosynthetic characteristics of wheat-maize intercropping

DU Jin-Yong,CHAI Qiang(),WANG Yi-Fan,FAN Hong,HU Fa-Long,YIN Wen,LI Deng-Ye   

  1. Gansu Provincial Key Laboratory of Arid Land Crop Science/Faculty of Agronomy, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730070, Gansu, China
  • Received:2018-12-27 Accepted:2019-04-15 Online:2019-09-12 Published:2019-08-13
  • Contact: Qiang CHAI E-mail:Chaiq@gsau.edu.cn
  • Supported by:
    This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31771738);the “Twelfth Five-Year” National Key Technology Support Program of China(2012BAD14B10)


A field experiment of wheat-maize intercropping was conducted from 2015 to 2017, with three root separation treatment adopted to produce the different below-ground interactions: (i) root separation with producing plastic cloth no below-ground interaction (P); (ii) root separation with producing nylon mesh partial below-ground interaction (N); and (iii) no root separation, producing complete below-ground interaction. Two planting densities; M1 and M2 (with 45,000 and 52,500 maize plants per hectare), were employed to create the different above-ground interactions. The above- and below-ground complete interaction significantly improved the leaf area duration (LAD), net assimilation rate (NAR) of the intercropped, and net photosynthetic rate (Pn) of the intercropped maize. Compared with low density treatment, the LAD of high maize density was improved by an average of 12.4%. Compared with nylon mesh and plastic sheet root barriers no root barrier increased LAD by 10.3% and 29.0%. Maize Pn was improved by 11.2% under high density than under low density. No root barrier improved Pn by 4.7% and 7.7% as compared with nylon mesh and plastic sheet root barriers, respectively. There was no significant effect of maize density on NAR of the intercropping system. No root barrier improved NAR by 11.5% and 14.8% as compared with nylon mesh and plastic sheet root barriers, respectively. During the late growth period, grain yield was significantly correlated with LAD. The above- and below-ground interactions synergistically affected LAD and Pn, which influenced NAR of the intercropping system. Therefore, the synergistic effect could be promoted by increasing maize density and above- and below-ground interactions, which would promote the intercropping system productivity.

Key words: crops intercropping, planting density, root interaction, intensity of interactions, photosynthetic characteristics

Fig. 1

Location of intercropped crops and partition of root in wheat/maize intercropping"

Fig. 2

LAD changes in intercropped wheat, corn, and population W/M1: maize intercropping wheat with low density without root separation; W/M2: maize intercropping wheat with high density without root separation; NW/M1: corn intercropping wheat low density nylon mesh root separation; NW/M2: corn intercropping wheat high density nylon mesh root separation; PW//M1: maize intercropped with wheat intercropped with low density plastic sheets for root separation; PW/M2: maize intercropped with wheat intercropped with high density plastic sheets for root separation. Bars are SE, n = 3."

Fig. 3

Net photosynthetic rate of intercropped wheat and maize Abbreviations are the same as those given in Fig. 2. Bars are SE, n = 3."

Fig. 4

Dynamic changes in net assimilation rate of intercropped wheat, maize, and population Abbreviations are the same as those given in Fig. 2. Bars are SE, n = 3."

Fig. 5

Mixed intercropping grain yield of wheat and corn Abbreviations are the same as those given in Fig.2. Bars are SE, n = 3. Bars superscripted by different letters are significantly different at the 0.05 probability level."

Table 1

Correlation between grain yield and net photosynthetic rate (Pn) and leaf area duration (LAD) "

出苗后天数 Days after the emergence of seedling
15-30 d 30-45 d 45-60 d 60-75 d 75-90 d 90-105 d 105-120 d 120-135 d
Pn 小麦Wheat 0.127 -0.106 -0.521**
玉米Maize 0.610** 0.008 0.180 0.282 -0.332
LAD 间作 Intercropping -0.574 -0.247 -0.097 0.610** 0.752** 0.688** 0.749** 0.671**
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