Effect of Maize (Zea mays L.) Plant-Type on Yield and Photosynthetic Characters of Sweet Potato (Ipomoea balatas L.) in Intercropping System
Sweet potato/maize relay-cropping mode is considered as the main farming practices of dry land in Southwest China. Although relay-cropping would cause the reduction of fresh tuber yield, it still remained unclear that the reason was shade resulted from maize or genotype of sweet potato. The present work aims at exploring the effects of maize (Zea mays L.) plant-type on photosynthetic physiology and yield of sweet potato (Ipomoea balatas L.) in relay-cropping system. Besides, three plant-types maize cultivars including compact, semi-compact and expanded type were used for relay-cropping with different sweet potato cultivars (‘Yushu-2’, ‘Yushu-6’ and ‘Nanshu-88’) in field. The results showed that the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) was declined with the increase of expansion of maize plant-type, which decreased by 77.5%, 80.1% and 82.1% respectively. When relay-cropped with extended maize, the yield reduction rate of sweet potato was the highest (67%). The shade-resistance of different genotype of sweet potatoes was different, and the yield reduction rate of ‘Yushu-2’ was the lowest (37.01%). Through conducting correlations analysis, it showed that fresh tuber yield had significant positive correlation with Effective Quantum Yield (Y(II)) and significant negative correlation with Non Photochemical Quenching Coefficient (NPQ). In terms of ‘Yushu-2’, the proportion of heat dissipation was the lowest, and its light quantum efficiency was higher than others. As a result, its reduction rate of yield was lower than the other two. We suggested that compact maize cultivar relay-cropping with strong shade-resistance sweet potato cultivar should be mainly applied in practice of sweet potato.
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