ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Effect of clovers intercropping and earthworm activity on weed growth
 
More details
Hide details
1
Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture, Ilam University, P.O. Box 69315516, Ilam, Iran
2
Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, P.O. Box 14115-336, Tehran, Iran
3
Department of Plant Pathology, College of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, P.O. Box 14115-336, Tehran, Iran
4
Soil and Water Research Institute, Tehran, Iran
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Goltapeh Ebrahim Mohamadi
Department of Plant Pathology, College of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, P.O. Box 14115-336, Tehran, Iran
 
Journal of Plant Protection Research 2010;50(4):463–469
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Forage legumes are used to enhance soil fertility of the agroecosystem. Understanding their effect on the agroecosystem during their growing period is essential. The objective of this field study was to evaluate annual clovers intercropping and earthworm activity on the growth of weeds. The field experiment was carried out during the 2006–2007 growing seasons at the research farm of the Seed and Plant Improvement Institute, Karaj (Iran) involving various mixed cropping ratios of berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L., B) and Persian clover (Trifolium resupinatum L., P) (B : P = 1 : 0, 3 : 1, 1 : 1, 1 : 3) with and without earthworm Pheretima sp. inoculation. Nitrogen content of plants and weeds as well as biomass was measured. Forage yield was higher in 2006 than 2007 but had similar response to cropping systems and earthworm inoculation. Total forage yield was highest in mixed cropping system (MCS). While in the first cut, the berseem sole crop (SC) tended to greatly suppress the growth of weeds, in the second cut Persian clover sole crop further suppressed weeds. The greater total crop biomass had an even higher weed suppression. Earthworm activity did not affect cut 1 but increased forage and weed biomass yield in cut 2. However in cut 1, berseem tended to greatly suppress the growth of weeds, which may be explained by the greater nitrogen accumulation in monocultures and intercrops, Persian clover in cut 2 had greater suppression on weed biomass production. Nitrogen accumulation of crops and weed increased under earthworm activity in the second cut.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The authors have declared that no conflict of interests exist.
 
REFERENCES (28)
1. Albuzio A., Ferrari G., Nardi S. 1986. Effects of humic substances on nitrate uptake and assimilation in barley seedings. Can. J. Soil Sci. 66 (4): 731–736.
2. Anil L., Park R.H.P., Miller F.A. 1998. Temperate intercropping of cereals for forage: a review of the potential for growth and utilization with particular reference to the UK. Grass Forage Sci. 53: 301–317.
3. Baruah T.C., Barthakur H.P. 1997. A Textbook of Soil Analysis. Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, India, 334 pp.
4. Brown G.G., Edwards C.A., Brussaard L. 2004. How earthworms affect plant growth: burrowing into the mechanisms. p. 13–49. In: “Earthworm Ecology” (C.A. Edwards, ed.). CRC Press, Boca Raton, USA, 441 pp.
5. Curry J.P., Byrne D. 1992. The role of earthworms in straw decomposition and nitrogen turnover in arable land in Ireland. Soil Biol. Biochem. 24: 1409–1412.
6. Fukai S., Trenbath B.R. 1993. Processes determining intercrop productivity and yields of component crops. Field Crops Res. 34 (3–4): 247–271.
7. Hauggaard N.H., Ambus P., Jensen E.S. 2001. Interspecific competition, N use and interference with weeds in pea ± barley intercropping. Field Crops Res. 70 (2): 101–109.
8. Hu P., Liu D.H., Hu F., Shen Q.R. 2002. Plant hormones in earthworm casts and their promotion on adventitious root formation of mung bean cutting. Acta Ecol. Sin. 22 (8): 1211–1214.
9. Janick J., Sherry R.W., Woods F.W., Ruttar V.W. 1981. Plant Science: Introduction to World Crop. WH Freeman, New York, 868 pp.
10. Kladivko E.J., Timmenga H.J. 1990. Earthworms and agricultural management. p. 192–216. In: “Rhizosphere Dynamics” (J.E. Box, L.C. Hammond, eds.). Westview Press, 322 pp.
11. Knight W.E. 1985. Miscellaneous annual clovers. p. 547–551. In: “Clover Science and Technology” (N.L. Taylor, ed.). Agron. Monogr. 25. ASA, CSSA, and SSSA, Madison, WI, 616 pp.
12. Lavelle P., Melendez G., Pashanasi B., Schaefer R. 1992. Nitrogen mineralization and reorganization in casts of the geophagous tropical earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus (Glossoscolecidae). Biol. Fertil. Soils 14 (1): 49–53.
13. Lee K.E. 1985. Earthworms: their Ecology and Relationships with Soils and Land Use. CSIRO, Sydney, 412 pp.
14. Liebman M., Dyck E. 1993. Crop rotation and intercropping strategies for weed management. Ecol. Appl. 3 (1): 92–122.
15. Martiniello P. 1999. Effects of irrigation and harvest management on dry matter yield and seed yield of annual clover grown in pure stand and in mixtures with graminaceous species in a Mediterranean environment. Grass Forage Sci. 54 (1): 52–61.
16. Muscolo A., Felici M., Concheri G., Nardi S. 1993. Effect of earth iworm humic substances on esterase and peroxidase activity during growth of leaf explants of Nicotiana plumbginifolia. Biol. Fertil. Soils 15: 127–131.
17. Nardi S., Pizzeghello D., Muscolo A., Vianello A. 2002. Physiological effects of humic substances on higher plants. Soil Biol. Biochem. 34 (11): 1527–1536.
18. Ofori F., Stern W.R. 1987. Cereal ± legume intercropping systems. Adv. Agron. 41: 41–90.
19. Quaggiotti S., Ruperti B., Pizzeghello D., Francioso O., Tugnoli V., Nardi S. 2004. Effect of low molecular size humic substances on nitrate uptake and expression of genes involved in nitrate transport in maize (Zea mays L.). J. Exp. Botany 55 (398): 803–813.
20. SAS. 1990. SAS Procedure Guide, Version 6, 3rd Edition. SAS Institute, Cary, NC, 705 pp.
21. Scheu S. 2003. Effects of earthworms on plant growth: patterns and perspectives. Pedobiologia 47: 846–856.
22. Stringi L., Amato G., Gristina L. 1987. Trifoglio alessandrino in ambiente semi-arido: influenza dello stadio di utilizzazione e della dose di seme sulla produzione di foraggio e di seme. L’Informatore Agrario 26: 63–68.
23. Subler S., Baranski C.M., Edwards C.A. 1997. Earthworm addiations increased short-term nitrogen availability and leaching in two grain crop agroecosystems. Soil Biol. Biochem. 29 (3–4): 413–421.
24. Vandermeer J. 1989. The Ecology of Intercropping. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 237 pp.
25. Willey R.W. 1979. Intercropping D its importance and research needs. Part 1. Competition and yield advantages. Field Crop Abstr. 32 (1): 1–10.
26. Worsham A.D. 1991. Role of cover crops in weed management and water quality. p. 141–145. In: “Cover Crops for Clean Water” (W.L. Hargrove, ed.). Soil and Water Conservation Society, Ankeny, 196 pp.
27. Zarea M.J., Ghalavand A., Mohammadi Goltapeh E., Rejali F. 2008. Influence of forage legumes Mixed Cropping on Biomass yield, soil microbial biomass and Nitrogenase activity. Green Farm. J. 1 (6): 12–15.
28. Zarea M.J., Ghalavand A., Mohammadi Goltapeh E., Rejali F., Zamaniyan M. 2009. Effects of mixed cropping,earthworms (Pheretima sp.), and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Glomus mosseae) on plant yield, mycorrhizal colonization rate, soil microbial biomass, and nitrogenase activity of free-living rhizosphere bacteria. Pedobiologia 52 (4): 223–235.
eISSN:1899-007X
ISSN:1427-4345