Interaction of cultivar and irrigation on mixtures of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) with pea (Pisum sativum L.)
Intercropping is the simultaneous cultivation of two or more crops species in the same space for a considerable proportion of the growth period. Intercropping has several advantages and is used in both traditional and sustainable agriculture. The objective of the present study was to study the interactions among different pea and wheat cultivars and the effect of water availability on wheat-pea mixtures and the competition between the two species. The experiment was conducted for two successive growing seasons using two different irrigation regimes and two cultivars from each species. The different treatments were evaluated using morphological and agronomic characteristics. Intercropping treatment, cultivars, and irrigation level affected most of the characteristics that were studied and the competition between the two species. Biomass was higher by 47% and leaf area index by 34% under irrigation compared to the rainfed conditions. The different cultivars showed different response under the two water regimes. Based on the intercropping indices, the mixture ‘Yecora E’ - ‘Isard’ is favoured under irrigation while the combination ‘Elissavet’ - ‘Isard’ under low water availability. There was interaction between cultivars and irrigation and using different cultivars in intercropping can have higher yield advantage than monocropping by exploiting the environmental resources more efficiently. Therefore, the use of appropriate cultivars in mixtures can affect the growth, biomass yield and competition between the two species leading to higher yield and greater economic return.
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