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Forskningsartikel2019Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Growth and development of soybean under changing light environments in relay intercropping system

Raza, Muhammad Ali; Feng, Ling Yang; Iqbal, Nasir; Ahmed, Mukhtar; Chen, Yuan Kai; Bin Khalid, Muhammad Hayder; Din, Atta Mohi Ud; Khan, Ahsin; Ijaz, Waqas; Hussain, Anwaar; Jamil, Muhammad Atif; Naeem, Muhammd; Bhutto, Sadam Hussain; Ansar, Muhammad; Yang, Feng; Yang, Wenyu


Background: Maize-soybean relay-intercropping (MSR) is a famous system of crop production in developing countries. However, maize shading under this system directly affects the light quality and intensity of soybean canopy. This is a challenging scenario in which to implement the MSR system, in terms of varieties selection, planting pattern, and crop management since the duration of crop resource utilization clearly differs.Methods: Therefore, this experiment aimed to elucidate the effect of leaf excising treatments from maize top to fully clarify the needs and balance of light quality and intensity of intercrop-soybean under MSR in field conditions. The effects of different leaf excising treatments (T0, no removal of leaves; T2, removal of two topmost leaves; T4, removal of four topmost leaves; T6, removal of six topmost leaves from maize plants were applied at first-trifoliate stage (V-1) of soybean) on photosynthetically active radiation transmittance (PAR(T)), red to far-red ratio (R:FR), morphological and photosynthetic characteristics and total biomass production at second-trifoliate stage (V-2), fifth-trifoliate stage (V-5), and flowering-stage (R-1) of soybean were investigated through field experiments for 2-years under MSR.Results: As compared to T0, treatment T6 increased the PAR(T) and R:FR ratio at soybean canopy by 77% and 37% (V-2), 70% and 34% (V-5), and 41% and 36% (R-1), respectively. This improved light environment in T6 considerably enhanced the leaf area index, SPAD values and photosynthetic rate of soybean plants by 66%, 25% and 49% at R-1, respectively than T0. Similarly, relative to control, T6 also increased the stem diameter (by 29%) but decreased the plant height (by 23%) which in turn significantly increased stem breaking strength (by 87%) by reducing the lodging rate (by 59%) of soybean plants. Overall, under T6, relay-cropped soybean produced 78% of sole soybean seed-yield, and relay-cropped maize produced 81% of sole maize seed-yield. Our findings implied that by maintaining the optimum level of PAR(T) (from 60% to 80%) and R:FR ratio (0.9 to 1.1), we can improve morphological and photosynthetic characteristics of soybean plants in MSR. Therefore, more attention should be paid to the light environment when considering the sustainability of MSR via appropriate planting pattern selection.


Light intensity; Relay intercropping; Soybean; Light quality; Shade

Publicerad i

2019, Volym: 7, artikelnummer: e7262Utgivare: PEERJ INC

      SLU författare

    • Ahmed, Mukhtar

      • Institutionen för norrländsk jordbruksvetenskap, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
      • Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University

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