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Research Article
 

Investigation of Ecological Relationship and Density Acceptance of Canola in Canola-field Bean Intercropping



M.H. Gharineh and M.R. Moradi Telavat
 
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ABSTRACT

In order to evaluate biologic effects of mixed culture of canola-field bean on farming system, in comparison with sole cropping, an experiment was carried out in 2004 at Ramin Agriculture and Natural Resources University, Iran. Experimental design was randomized complete blocks with three replicates. Different compositions of two crop, canola and field bean are treatments of the experiment, that including 20, 40 shrub m-2 for canola and 0, 20, 40 and 60 shrubs m-2 for field bean. Grain yield and components of crops, weed biomass and diversity, Land Equivalent Ratio (LER) and dominance index were evaluated. Results showed a significant difference between sole cropping and mixed culture in grain yield and components. In canola mixed field bean, yield of both crops was lower than monoculture. Highest yield of canola in monoculture was gained with 40 canola shrubs m-2 (2788 kg ha-1) and lowest grain yield was gained with intercrop of 40 and 40 canola and field bean shrub m-2, respectively. This trend, also be observed in field bean yield with increase of intercrop composition. It seems that cause of yields loss is competition between two crops and decrease of branches. Highest LER was found in mixed 20 and 60 canola and field bean shrub m-2, respectively. And lowest LER was observed in mixed 40 and 20 canola and field bean shrub m-2, respectively. Lowest dry matter (DM) of weeds within mixed stands was gained with 20 canola and 40 field bean shrub m-2. Highest DM of weeds was related to monoculture of 20 canola shrub m-2. Also, with increase density of field bean mixed stands, DM of weeds decreased, significantly. Also, diversity of weeds was decreased in mixed stands, in comparison with monoculture.

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  How to cite this article:

M.H. Gharineh and M.R. Moradi Telavat, 2009. Investigation of Ecological Relationship and Density Acceptance of Canola in Canola-field Bean Intercropping. Asian Journal of Agricultural Research, 3: 11-17.

DOI: 10.3923/ajar.2009.11.17

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=ajar.2009.11.17
 

INTRODUCTION

Today, different agronomic systems are existing in the world. Management practices in these systems are effective on crop yield, resources use efficiency and population of weeds. Mixed culture is one of good methods in sustainable production of crop. Planting more than one crop caused better resources use, in comparison with mono-culture (Sobkowicz, 2006). In comparison with pure culture, intercropping systems has many advantages such as better use of resources for growth, weed, pest and disease control and increase in stability of yield in different environmental conditions (Nargis Akter et al., 2004). In addition, intercropping systems might be wisest selection in determining compatible plants, minimum competition and highest total yield. This could become possible by using suitable combination of different varieties (Saka et al., 2007). One of problems in designing and efficiency of mixed culture is due to lack of predicting interaction between species composition and environmental conditions (Fukais and Trenbath, 1993). Therefore, in mixed culture, the most important factors in selecting plants include their compatibility, having low competition and producing highest yield. Also, careful selection of companion crop, can result in nutrient balance, economic yield stability and sustainability of agricultural systems (Nargis Akter et al., 2004). In addition, better management and weed control and following bioenvironmental issues are other advantages of this culture method.

Due to high importance of oilseeds in nutrition, their production and processing situation was on concern from old time. But, problems in cultivation and production of these crops have been always a barrier in increase yield and obtaining sustainable yield. Therefore, due to important situation of mixed culture in removing some problems in agro-ecosystems and that researches in this field across the country, particularly in Khuzestan province was very limited, on the other hand, this study tries to compare and asses the mixed culture of canola and field bean (a plant that has suitable status in agricultural systems in the region due to its characteristics), in different densities of two crops with pure culture of canola.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

This experiment was carried out in the research farm of Ramin Agricultural and Natural Resources University, located 36 km northwest Ahwaz in 31 degree and 36 min geographic latitude, in 2004-2005. This region is in semi-arid parts with average annual rainfall rate of 269.9 mm. soil of experiment location has silt-clay-loam texture, with 0.84% organic matter. In this research, intercropping of canola (Hyola 401 cv.) and field bean (local) was investigated. Canola was planted in two 20 and 40 shrubs m-2 densities and field bean was planted in 0, 20, 40 and 60 shrubs m-2 densities. Experimental design was randomized complete blocks, with three replicate. Each plot include six furrow with 75 cm distance and four meter length, that one cultivation line of each one of two crops is located on those. Treatments was different combination of two crops (canola and field bean) (Table 1). It should be noted that treatment of pure culture are as control.

Agronomic operations including fertilization, irrigation and harvest were done based on technical recommendations of research centers in the region. In order to investigation of weed status, no control was made against the weed. Field bean was harvested at the end of April and canola at the beginning of May. Then, samples were taken to laboratory and were dried and following parameters were measured:

Grain Yield and Yield Components
To determine yield and yield components, after omitting the margins, in each plot, following parameters were measured:

Grain yield, silique number, grain per silique and 1000 grain weight
Biological yield of mixed culture and it components in area unit
Weight of single shrub in mixture and pure culture

Table 1: Different composition in canola mixed field bean
Image for - Investigation of Ecological Relationship and Density Acceptance 
        of Canola in Canola-field Bean Intercropping

Weed Measurements
Sampling of weeds, in order to evaluate of mixed culture effects on weed status, was done. Weeds were collected at the end of February in the floral stage and labeled. Then their dry weight was measured. In addition, species composition in different combination of mixed culture and pure culture was identified.

Evaluation Indexes of Mixed Culture
Agronomic index of the Land Equivalent Ratio (LER) that was calculated from formula 3 (Nargis Akter et al., 2004). LER for a canola-field bean intercrop is the sum of the partial LER values for canola (Lc) and field bean (Lf), in accordance with Vandermeer (1990).

Image for - Investigation of Ecological Relationship and Density Acceptance 
        of Canola in Canola-field Bean Intercropping
(1)

Image for - Investigation of Ecological Relationship and Density Acceptance 
        of Canola in Canola-field Bean Intercropping
(2)

Image for - Investigation of Ecological Relationship and Density Acceptance 
        of Canola in Canola-field Bean Intercropping
(3)

where, SC is solp crop and IC is intercrop.
Competition Index (dominance factor) which was calculated from formula 4.

Image for - Investigation of Ecological Relationship and Density Acceptance 
        of Canola in Canola-field Bean Intercropping
(4)

In analyzing data, SAS and MSTATC softwares and for drawing graphs. Excel software, were used.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Canola Yield and Yield Components
Results showed significant difference between treatments in terms of No. of shrubs per unit area, weight of single shrubs, grain yield, 1000 grain weight, silique No., grain No. per silique and Biological Yield (Table 2 ).

Table 2: Analysis of variance by of canola yield and yield components mixed with field been
Image for - Investigation of Ecological Relationship and Density Acceptance 
        of Canola in Canola-field Bean Intercropping
*, **, Significant at 5 and 1% levels of probability, respectively

Table 3: Canola yield and yield components mixed with field bean
Image for - Investigation of Ecological Relationship and Density Acceptance 
        of Canola in Canola-field Bean Intercropping
Similar letter(s) in each column shows non-significant difference

Number of canola shrubs m-2, was affected seriously by field bean in mixed culture. Maximum No. of canola shrub was obtained with 40 shrubs m-2, in sole crop (Table 3). With increase density of canola and field bean, BY of both crop single shrub decreased and mean comparison showed very decreasing trend in terms of weight of canola single shrub, in mixed culture.

BY of canola single shrubs, from 18 in sole crop with 40 shrubs per m2, decreased to 8 g. In mixed with field bean. This decreasing trend, especially was increased greatly in higher densities of field bean. It seems that BY decreasing is due to competition in mixed culture (Tsubo et al., 2003).

With increase of canola density, canola BY increased. Highest canola BY was observed in sole crop with 40 shrubs m-2 (with 627 kg DM ha-1) and lowest BY was related to mixed culture of 40 canola shrubs and 60 field bean shrubs. In both density of canola, with increase in relative share of field bean population, canola BY decreased, especially with 40 canola shrubs m-2. Cause of canola BY decrease in mixed culture, can be related to interaction of two crops and competition ability of legumes (Fairys, 1990). Some of other researchers reported no significant difference between mixed and sole crop (Raji, 2007).

Highest canola grain yield (GY) was obtained in sole crop with 40 canola shrubs m-2 by 2788 kg ha-1 and lowest GY was obtained in 40 canola and field bean shrubs m-2 in mixed culture by 551 kg ha-1. Mean of GY in sole crop with 40 canola shrubs per m2 was five times than mixed culture with the same density (Table 3).

These results agree with reports of Rouber et al. (2000) on decrease oat grain yield mixed with pea, in relation with sole crop and Sobkowicz (2006) on triticale mixed field bean. It also seems that increase in GY in mixed culture with 20 shrubs was due to decrease competition and interaction between two mixed crop and decrease in the No. of branches, that agree with results obtained by Finckh and Karpenstein-Machan (2002).

Mixed culture also decreased canola yield components. In this condition, No. of silique per plant decreased. Maximum No. of silique per plant was obtained from sole crop in both density of canola and minimum No. of silique was related to high densities in mixed culture. This agrees with reports of Sobkowicz (2006) and Fukais and Trenbath (1993). It seems that decrease in the No. of silique per plant with increase bean density, is related to fields bean shading on canola. In addition, the grain No. per silique decreased in different combinations of mixed culture. Lowest No. of grain per silique was observed in combination of 40 canola shrubs with 60 bean shrubs m-2, by 15 grain per silique. Also, highest number of grain per silique was observed in sole cropping. One thousand grain weight of canola in sole crop was less than mixed culture.

Bean Yield and Yield Components
Results showed very significant difference between treatments in terms of shrub No. m-2, single shrub weight, BY, GY, 100 grain weight, silique No. per shrub, grain No. per silique (Table 4). It seems that the competition established with increase in density of both crops in mixed culture.

The weight of single shrub of bean varied in different competition of mixed culture and showed decreasing trend in mixed culture, in comparison with sole crop. The highest weight of single shrub of bean was found in sole crop by 38.5 g and lowest was in mixed culture by 29.84 g (Table 5).

With regarding to results, it seems that intraspecific competition with canola and interspecific competition between bean shrubs particularly in high densities could be the reason of decrease in the biological yield of single shrub. This agrees with the report of Sobkovicz (2006) on intraspecific competition of triticale with bean. BY in bean sole crop, by 6718 kg ha-1, showed increase in comparison with mixed culture. Some of researchers have also reported that yield of both species in mixed culture was lower than sole crop (Nargis Akter et al., 2004).

Table 4: Analysis of variance of bean yield and yield components mixed with canola
Image for - Investigation of Ecological Relationship and Density Acceptance 
        of Canola in Canola-field Bean Intercropping
*, **, Significant at 5 and 1% levels of probability, respectively

Table 5: Bean yield and yield components mixed with canola
Image for - Investigation of Ecological Relationship and Density Acceptance 
        of Canola in Canola-field Bean Intercropping
Similar letter(s) in each column shows non-significant difference

Table 6: GY comparison of field bean single shrub in sole crop, with canola intercrop
Image for - Investigation of Ecological Relationship and Density Acceptance 
        of Canola in Canola-field Bean Intercropping

The highest GY of field bean was obtained with sole crop by 2525 kg ha-1, that was higher than different densities mixed with canola. Other compositions of mixed culture in this experiment, had lower yield than bean sole crop. Especially, with increase of canola density in mixed culture, lowering of yield became more intensive (Table 6).

Comparison the BY of mixed culture showed that there was no significant difference between different compositions of mixed and sole cropping (Table 4). However, combination of 20 canola shrubs mixed with 40 bean shrubs m-2 had highest BY, by 9295 kg ha-1. Cause of this might be due to bean characteristic and low portion of canola in this mixture composition. This agrees with results of Carr et al. (1992) on intercropping of sorghum-bean.

Land Equivalent Ratio
Land Equivalent Ratio (LER) had different percentage in seed yield in different mixture compositions. Minimum LER (69%) was obtained in 40 canola shrubs mixed with 20 bean shrubs m-2 and maximum LER (204%) was obtained in 20 canola shrubs mixed with 60 bean shrubs mixed with 60 bean shrubs m-2 (Table 7). LER in low density of canola (20 shrubs m-2) was lower than 40 canola, in all compositions of mixed culture. It seems that in low densities of canola, with increase of No. of bean shrubs per unit area, GY of mixture increased and less land was needed to produce GY of sole cropping. Although, the GY of both crop was higher in sole cropping, but LER increased except in combinations of canola and bean with 40-20 and 40-40 densities. The pattern of yield decrease with increase in LER agrees with other mixed culture experiments (Nargis Akter et al., 2004; Sobkovicz, 2006). Studding LER of BY, showed that LER in low density of canola mixed with bean, had advantages in relation with sole cropping (Table 7).

Dominance Index
Results showed that in different mixtures, due to bean traits and inter-specific competition, Dominance index was less than 1 or negative. It shows better dominance of bean in mixture with canola (Table 7).

Table 7: LER and dominance in different mixtures of canola and field bean
Image for - Investigation of Ecological Relationship and Density Acceptance 
        of Canola in Canola-field Bean Intercropping

Table 8: Weed species in sole crop and mixed intercropping
Image for - Investigation of Ecological Relationship and Density Acceptance 
        of Canola in Canola-field Bean Intercropping

Table 9: Weed dry weight in different mixtures of canola and field bean
Image for - Investigation of Ecological Relationship and Density Acceptance 
        of Canola in Canola-field Bean Intercropping
Similar letters shows non significant difference

Weed Biomass and Species
Results showed that mixed culture can be an effective implement for weed control that agree with results of some of researches (Deksen et al., 2002). Results of analysis of variance showed significant difference between different densities of both crops in mixed and sole cropping. Highest DM of weed was observed in canola sole cropping (Table 8, 9). This agrees with reports of Libman and Dyck Dik (1993) on decrease in weed biomass in mixed culture in relation with sole cropping. Results showed also that with increase bean density in mixture, weed biomass had decreasing trend. It seems that morphological traits of bean (such as high growth rate, early canopy closure and long term coverage of surface soil) and competition ability of this crop, had significant effect on decreasing weed biomass, particularly in early growth season (Siner et al., 2000). Results of this experiment showed effect of type of farming system on weed density and species composition. This agrees with Shetty and Rao (1981).

In mixed culture of canola and bean, weed dry weight and diversity was significantly decreased (Table 9). It seems that difference between crops in response, change and renovation in farming options and crop and weed traits as well as time of emergence, were cause of changes in weed density and their dominance within crops. In other hand, change in crop density and spatial array have prevented invrease in population of a particular species, that agrees with reports of Walker and Buchanan (1982) and Deksen et al. (2002).

CONCLUSION

The existence of interaction between components of one culture pattern and farming systems, such as presence of different crops, plough systems, application of different herbicides and management of plant residues, makes difficult the estimation of equality of reactions of different weed populations or control strategy in a farming system. In fact, using diversity of crops will be as a tool to disrupt of balance and stability of weed communities, increase ability of competition of crop, maintenance the quality of resources and environment. Using mixed culture in the condition of experiment region with common farm crops, can be effective in establishing stability in the agricultural ecosystems in terms of biological, economical and environmental dimensions.

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