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Frontiers of Agriculture in China

ISSN 1673-7334

ISSN 1673-744X(Online)

CN 11-5729/S

Front. Agric. China    2009, Vol. 3 Issue (4) : 388-396     DOI: 10.1007/s11703-009-0053-7
Research articles |
Root distributions in tillage layers and yields of pumpkin and oil sunflower in an intercropping system
Junhua ZHANG1,Wei HUANG2,Fenglu ZHANG3,Lifeng ZHANG3,
1.College of Agronomy, Agricultural University of Hebei, Baoding 071001, China;Zhangbei Agricultural Resource and Ecological Environment Key Field Research Station, Ministry of Agriculture of China, Zhangjiakou 075000, China; 2.Zhangbei Agricultural Resource and Ecological Environment Key Field Research Station, Ministry of Agriculture of China, Zhangjiakou 075000, China; 3.College of Agronomy, Agricultural University of Hebei, Baoding 071001, China;
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Abstract  Studies on the distribution of roots of pumpkin and oil sunflower in tillage layers and their relations with their above-ground biomass in an intercropping system were conducted by digging roots by layers, combined with DT-Scan and the WinRHIZO root analysis system, during harvest in the plateau of the northwest part of Hebei Province, China. The results of analyzing roots and ratio of root to shoot showed that oil sunflower had an advantage over pumpkin in the intercropping system. Root dry weight of oil sunflower in treatments of pumpkin intercropped with one row (J1) and two rows of oil sunflower (J2) was, respectively, 2.5 and 1.83 times that of sole oil sunflower cropping (YD); the root length was 1.25 and 1.27 times, the root surface area was 1.20 and 1.14 times, and the root volume was 1.53 and 1.44 times that of sole oil sunflower cropping, respectively. As oil sunflower was dominant in absorbing nutrition and water in the intercropping system, the growth and development of pumpkin were restricted. Root dry weight of pumpkin in sole cropping (ND) was 1.5 and 1.9 times as much as that in treatments of J1 and J2 in a 0- to 40-cm soil layer, with the root length, surface area, and volume being 1.02 and 1.13, 1.04 and 1.26, 1.22 and 1.22 times that of treatments of J1 and J2, respectively. The root and the above-ground biomass of intercropped pumpkin with oil sunflower were lower than those in sole pumpkin cropping, while those of oil sunflower were the opposite. Root density of pumpkin decreased in power function with the soil layers, while it decreased by exponential function in oil sunflower. It was concluded that sole pumpkin cropping rather than pumpkin-oil sunflower intercropping is the suitable planting regimen in this area.
Keywords pumpkin      oil sunflower      intercropping      root system      
Issue Date: 05 December 2009
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