Publications

Plant density affects light interception and yield in cotton grown as companion crop in young jujube plantations

Zhang, D.; Zhang, L.; Liu, Jianguo; Han, S.; Wang, Q.; Evers, J.B.; Liu, Jun; Werf, W. van der; Li, L.

Summary

Tree-crop mixturesmayincreaseyieldandrevenueespeciallyduringtheearlyyearsoftreeplantations. Jujube isgrownwidelyinChinafortheirfruits,andcottonisgainingpopularityasanunderstorycropin young jujubeplantations.Thereisaneedforinformationonproductivityandoptimalplantingdensities of cottoninthesemixedsystems.Fieldexperimentswerecarriedoutin2012and2013inHetian,Xinjiang, China. Threecottonplantdensities(13.5,18.0and22.5plantsm-2) weretestedin6–7yearsoldjujube plantations, inwhichthecottonwasgrownina6m-widespacebetweenthetreerows.Cottonleafarea index increasedbutplantheightdecreasedwithplantdensity.Cottonlightinterceptionincreasedwith density, butatearlyandmid-season,thedifferenceinlightinterceptionbetween18.0and22.5plantsm-2 was onlymarginal.Increasingplantdensitymodifiedthedistributionpatternofthelightwithinthe canopy, thusaffectedoverallcottonlightinterceptionanduseefficiency.Thehighestyieldandlight use efficiencyofcottonwereachievedat18.0plantsm-2. Spatialdistributionsoflightintensitiesand extinction coefficientswereaffectedbytheshadingofjujubetreeswithinthecottoncanopyinthe intercrop. Jujubegrowth,yieldandlightutilizationwerenotsignificantlyaffectedbycottonplantdensity. We concludethattheproductivityandlightutilizationofcottoninjujube-cottonintercroppingcanbe increased byoptimizingcottonplantdensity.