Agronomy (Mar 2019)

Impact of Increasing Maize Densities on Agronomic Performances and the Community Stability of Productivity of Maize/Peanut Intercropping Systems

  • Haiyong Xia,
  • Lan Wang,
  • Yanfang Xue,
  • Weilin Kong,
  • Yanhui Xue,
  • Ruipeng Yu,
  • Huasen Xu,
  • Xiaofeng Wang,
  • Jie Wang,
  • Zhen Liu,
  • Xiaotong Guo

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 9, no. 3
p. 150


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Rational crop community structure plays an important role in maximizing the intercropping yield advantage. Effects of increasing maize densities in maize (Zea mays L.)/peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) intercropping on yields and other agronomic traits, and the community stability of productivity were conducted across three different experimental sites. There were significant and positive correlations between maize densities and both maize grain/biomass yields and corresponding partial land equivalent ratios (LERs) across all three locations; but grain/biomass yields and partial LERs of peanut were all negatively correlated with maize densities in each or across all locations. LERs of grain yields averaged over three locations ranged from 0.89 to 0.98, while LERs of biomass yields ranged from 0.94 to 1.09 (>1.0 except for the maize inter-plant distance of 27 cm), indicating the intercropping advantage on biomass yields but not grain yields. Peanut had significantly lower kernel harvest indexes than those in monoculture. Excessive narrowing maize inter-plant distances reduced the community stability of productivity severely (especially for maize and total LERs) and are more likely to lead to abnormal maize and peanut plants. Therefore, a rational increase of maize densities in intercropping is suggested to keep the balance between maize and peanut and the comprehensive yield advantage.