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Agroforestry is a common traditional practice in China-especially in the southern Xinjiang of Northwest China. However, the productivity of many agroforestry systems has been lower than expected in recent years, highlighting the need for an actionably deep mechanistic understanding of the competition between crops and trees. Here, three different fruit tree/wheat (jujube/wheat, apricot /wheat, and walnut /wheat) intercropping agroforestry systems were chosen to investigate influence of different fruit tree shade intensity on the growth, yield and quality of intercropping wheat. Compared to the monoculture wheat system, the mean daily shade intensity of the jujube-, apricot-, and walnut-based intercropping systems were, respectively, 23.2%, 57.5%, and 80.7% shade. The photosynthetic rate of wheat in the jujube-, apricot-, and walnut-based intercropping systems decreased by, respectively, 11.3%, 31.9%, and 36.2% compared to monoculture wheat, and the mean number of fertile florets per spike decreased by 26.4%, 37.4%, and 49.5%. Moreover, the apricot- and walnut-based intercropping systems deleteriously affected grain yield (constituent components spike number, grains per spike, and thousand grain weight) and decreased the total N, P, and K content of intercropping wheat. Tree shading intensity strongly enhanced the grain protein content, wet gluten content, dough development time, and dough stability time of wheat, but significantly decreased the softening degree. Strong negative linear correlations were observed between tree shade intensity and the number of fertile florets, grain yield related traits (including spike number, grains per spike, and thousand grain weight), nutrient content (N, P and K), and softening degree of wheat. In contrast, Daily shade intensity was positively linearly correlated with grain protein content, wet gluten content, dough development time, and dough stability time. We conclude that jujube-based intercropping systems can be practical in the region, as they do not decrease the yield and quality of intercropping wheat.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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Oil extracted from fruit of the OLIVE TREE (genus Olea).
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