Crop and Pasture Science Crop and Pasture Science Society
Plant sciences, sustainable farming systems and food quality
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Weed response and crop growth in winter wheat–lucerne intercropping: a comparison of conventional and reduced soil-tillage conditions in northern France

E. Barilli A C E , M.-H. Jeuffroy A B , J. Gall B , S. de Tourdonnet D and S. Médiène A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A INRA, UMR211 Agronomie, F-78850 Thiverval-Grignon, France.

B AgroParisTech, UMR Agronomie, F-75231 Paris, France.

C Institute for Sustainable Agriculture-CSIC, Plant Breeding Department, 14004, Córdoba, Spain.

D INRA SupAgro, UMR Innovation, F-34060 Montpellier, France.

E Corresponding author. Email: ebarilli@ias.csic.es

Crop and Pasture Science - https://doi.org/10.1071/CP16459
Submitted: 15 December 2016  Accepted: 30 May 2017   Published online: 17 July 2017

Abstract

Changing agricultural practices from conventional to conservation tillage generally leads to increased weed populations and herbicide use. To gain information about the possible use of lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) cover crop as an alternative and sustainable weed-control strategy for winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), an experiment was performed at Thiverval-Grignon, France, from 2008 to 2010. We compared conventional and reduced tillage as well as the presence and absence of living mulch (i.e. lucerne) on weeds and wheat production. Percentage soil coverage and aboveground biomass of wheat, lucerne and weeds were measured at the end of grain filling. Weed communities were analysed in terms of composition and diversity. During both seasons, wheat biomass did not significantly decrease in reduced-till trials compared with conventional ones (7.0 and 7.2 t ha–1, respectively, in 2008–09; 6.9 and 7.1 t ha–1 in 2009–10). Regardless of soil management, the percentage soil coverage by wheat significantly decreased when it was intercropped, although wheat biomass was not significantly reduced compared with the sole crop. To minimise cash-crop losses, we studied the competition between wheat, lucerne and weeds, testing various herbicide strategies. Early control of lucerne allowed better balance between weed control and wheat development. In addition, weed communities varied among treatments in terms of abundance and composition, being reduced but more varied in plots associated with lucerne. A functional group analysis showed that grasses benefited from reduced-till conditions, whereas problematic weeds such as annuals with creeping and climbing morphologies were substantially reduced. In addition, annual and perennial broad-leaf species with rosette morphology were also significantly decreased when lucerne was used as living mulch. Wheat production in reduced-till conditions intercropped with lucerne living mulch may be useful for integrated weed management, reducing the need for herbicides.

Additional keywords: cover crop, plant biomass, reduced inputs, weed biocontrol, weed diversity.


References

Amossé C, Jeuffroy MH, Celette F, David C (2013) Relay-intercropped forage legumes help to control weeds in organic grain production. European Journal of Agronomy 49, 158–167.
Relay-intercropped forage legumes help to control weeds in organic grain production.CrossRef |

Bàrberi P (2002) Weed management in organic agriculture: are we addressing the right issues? Weed Research 42, 177–193.
Weed management in organic agriculture: are we addressing the right issues?CrossRef |

Bàrberi P, Lo Cascio B (2001) Long-term tillage and crop rotation effects on weed seedbank size and composition. Weed Research 41, 325–340.
Long-term tillage and crop rotation effects on weed seedbank size and composition.CrossRef |

Booth BD, Swanton CJ (2002) Assembly theory applied to weed communities. Weed Science 50, 2–13.
Assembly theory applied to weed communities.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38Xhtl2ktrc%3D&md5=2436fbf06298d3bd0fd0d98008dbb0ebCAS |

Brandsæter LO, Netland J (1999) Winter annual legumes for use as cover crops in row crops in northern regions: I. Field experiments. Crop Science 39, 1369–1379.
Winter annual legumes for use as cover crops in row crops in northern regions: I. Field experiments.CrossRef |

Brandsæter LO, Smeby T, Tronsmo AM, Netland J (2000) Winter annual legumes for use as cover crops in row crops in northern regions: II. Frost resistance study. Crop Science 40, 175–181.
Winter annual legumes for use as cover crops in row crops in northern regions: II. Frost resistance study.CrossRef |

Brandsæter LO, Olsmo A, Tronsmo AM, Fykse H (2002) Freezing resistance of winter annual and biennial legumes at different developmental stages. Crop Science 42, 437–443.
Freezing resistance of winter annual and biennial legumes at different developmental stages.CrossRef |

Calado JMG, Basch G, de Carvalho M (2010) Weed management in no-till winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Crop Protection 29, 1–6.
Weed management in no-till winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD1MXhsValtbjJ&md5=23491528c5add8c24e41602b632b077fCAS |

Carof M, de Tourdonnet S, Saulas P, Le Floch D, Roger-Estrade J (2007) Undersowing wheat with different living mulches in a no-till system. I. Yield analysis. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 27, 347–356.
Undersowing wheat with different living mulches in a no-till system. I. Yield analysis.CrossRef |

Clements RO, Donaldson G (1997) Clover and cereal-low input bi-cropping. Farming and Conservation 3, 12–14.

Clements DR, Weise SF, Swanton CJ (1994) Integrated weed management and weed species diversity. Phytoprotection 75, 1–18.
Integrated weed management and weed species diversity.CrossRef |

Dufrene M, Legendre P (1997) Species assemblage and indicator species: the need for a flexible asymmetrical approach. Ecological Monographs 67, 345–366.

FAO-UNESCO (1974) Soil map of the world, 1: 5 000 000. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. Available at: www.fao.org (accessed 28 May 2016)

Fustec J, Lesuffleur F, Mahieu S, Cliquet JB (2010) Nitrogen rhizodeposition of legumes. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 30, 57–66.
Nitrogen rhizodeposition of legumes. A review.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BC3cXjs12ks7w%3D&md5=bc67f029f683ee02f98cf59b56a794c8CAS |

Hartwig NL, Ammon HU (2002) Cover crops and living mulches. Weed Science 50, 688–699.
Cover crops and living mulches.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD38XptV2jt7c%3D&md5=ee5024a3ed6bbb558f2ebb85ce9c318cCAS |

Hiltbrunner J, Liedgens M (2008) Performance of winter wheat varieties in white clover living mulch. Biological Agriculture and Horticulture 26, 85–101.
Performance of winter wheat varieties in white clover living mulch.CrossRef |

Hiltbrunner J, Streit B, Liedgens M (2007a) Are seeding densities an opportunity to increase grain yield of winter wheat in a living mulch of white clover? Field Crops Research 102, 163–171.
Are seeding densities an opportunity to increase grain yield of winter wheat in a living mulch of white clover?CrossRef |

Hiltbrunner J, Jeanneret P, Liedgens M, Stamp P, Streit B (2007b) Response of weed communities to legume living mulches in winter wheat. Journal of Agronomy & Crop Science 193, 93–102.
Response of weed communities to legume living mulches in winter wheat.CrossRef |

Hiltbrunner J, Liedgens M, Bloch L, Stamp P, Streit B (2007c) Legume cover crops as living mulches for winter wheat: components of biomass and the control of weeds. European Journal of Agronomy 26, 21–29.
Legume cover crops as living mulches for winter wheat: components of biomass and the control of weeds.CrossRef |

Huarte HR, Benech Arnold RL (2003) Understanding mechanisms of reduced annual weed emergence in alfalfa. Weed Science 51, 876–885.
Understanding mechanisms of reduced annual weed emergence in alfalfa.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD3sXpsFamsL4%3D&md5=30f22bdddbc562ab2e05f70f1452284aCAS |

Lacoste A, Salanon R (2005) ‘Éléments de biogéographie et d’écologie.’ (Ed. A Colin) pp. 320. (FAC Publishers: Paris)

Magurran AE (2005) Biological diversity. Current Biology 15, R116–R118.
Biological diversity.CrossRef | 1:CAS:528:DC%2BD2MXhsFSiurw%3D&md5=335e464909fb4d323d481d84e0a2b99dCAS |

Marshall EJP, Brown VK, Boatman ND, Lutman PJW, Squire GR, Ward LK (2003) The role of weeds in supporting biological diversity within crop fields. Weed Research 43, 77–89.
The role of weeds in supporting biological diversity within crop fields.CrossRef |

Médiène S, Valantin-Morison M, Sarthou JP, de Tourdonnet S, Gosme M, Bertrand M, Roger-Estrade J, Aubertot JN, Rush A, Motisi N, Pelosi C, Doré T (2011) Agroecosystem management and biotic interactions: a review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 31, 491–514.
Agroecosystem management and biotic interactions: a review.CrossRef |

Meiss H, Médiène S, Waldhardt R, Caneill J, Bretagnolle V, Reboud X, Munier-Jolain N (2010) Perennial lucerne affects weed community trajectories in grain crop rotations. Weed Research 50, 331–340.

Ominski PD, Entz MH, Kendel N (1999) Weed suppression by Medicago sativa in subsequent cereal crops: a comparative survey. Weed Science 47, 282–290.

Poggio SL (2005) Structure of weed communities occurring in monoculture and intercropping of field pea and barley. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 109, 48–58.
Structure of weed communities occurring in monoculture and intercropping of field pea and barley.CrossRef |

Pollnac FW, Rew LJ, Maxwell BD, Menalled FD (2008) Spatial patterns, species richness and cover in weed communities of organic and conventional no-tillage spring wheat systems. Weed Research 48, 398–407.
Spatial patterns, species richness and cover in weed communities of organic and conventional no-tillage spring wheat systems.CrossRef |

Rémy JC, Hébert J (1977) Le devenir des engrais azotés dans le sol. Comptes-rendus de l’Académie d’Agriculture Française 63, 700–710.

Shili-Touzi I (2009) Analyse du fonctionnement d’une association de blé d’hiver (Triticum aestivum L.) et d’une plante de couverture sur une échelle annuelle par modélisation et expérimentation. PhD Thesis, L’Institut des Sciences et Industries du Vivant et de l’Environnement, AgroParisTech, Paris.

Shili-Touzi I, de Tourdonnet S, Launay M, Dore T (2010) Does intercropping winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) with red fescue (Festuca rubra) as a cover crop improve agronomic and environmental performance? A modeling approach. Field Crops Research 116, 218–229.
Does intercropping winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) with red fescue (Festuca rubra) as a cover crop improve agronomic and environmental performance? A modeling approach.CrossRef |

Soane BD, Ball BC, Arvidsson J, Basch G, Moreno F, Roger-Estrade J (2012) No-till in northern, western and south-western Europe: a review of problems and opportunities for crop production and the environment. Soil & Tillage Research 118, 66–87.
No-till in northern, western and south-western Europe: a review of problems and opportunities for crop production and the environment.CrossRef |

Sowiński J (2014) The effect of companion crops management on biological weed control in the seeding year of lucerne. Biological Agriculture and Horticulture 30, 97–108.
The effect of companion crops management on biological weed control in the seeding year of lucerne.CrossRef |

Stoate C, Boatman ND, Borralho RJ, Rio Carvalho C, de Snoo GR, Eden P (2001) Ecological impacts of arable intensification in Europe. Journal of Environmental Management 63, 337–365.
Ecological impacts of arable intensification in Europe.CrossRef | 1:STN:280:DC%2BD38%2FpslSltQ%3D%3D&md5=242c1c3f9d4073322f1119cc2b3ef129CAS |

Teasdale JR (1996) Contribution of cover crops to weed management in sustainable agricultural systems. Journal of Production Agriculture 9, 475–479.
Contribution of cover crops to weed management in sustainable agricultural systems.CrossRef |

Thorsted MD, Olesen JE, Koefoed N (2002) Effect of white clover cultivars on biomass and yield in oat/clover intercrops. The Journal of Agricultural Science 138, 261–267.
Effect of white clover cultivars on biomass and yield in oat/clover intercrops.CrossRef |

Thorsted MD, Olesen JE, Weiner J (2006) Width of clover strips and wheat rows influence grain yield in winter wheat in winter wheat/white clover intercropping. Field Crops Research 95, 280–290.
Width of clover strips and wheat rows influence grain yield in winter wheat in winter wheat/white clover intercropping.CrossRef |

Tørresen KS, Skuterud R, Tandsæther HT, Hagemo MB (2003) Long-term experiments with reduced tillage in spring cereals. I. Effects on weed flora, weed seedbank and grain yield. Crop Protection 22, 185–200.
Long-term experiments with reduced tillage in spring cereals. I. Effects on weed flora, weed seedbank and grain yield.CrossRef |

Trichard A, Alignier A, Chauvel B, Pétit S (2013) Identification of weed community traits response to conservation agriculture. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 179, 179–186.
Identification of weed community traits response to conservation agriculture.CrossRef |

Wezel A, Casagrande M, Celette F, Vian JF, Ferrer A, Peigné J (2014) Agroecological practices for sustainable agriculture. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 34, 1–20.
Agroecological practices for sustainable agriculture. A review.CrossRef |



Export Citation