Accumulation of biologically fixed nitrogen by legumes cultivated as cover crops in Switzerland

Büchi, Lucie; Gebhard, Claude-Alain; Liebisch, Frank; Sinaj, Sokrat; Ramseier, Hans; Charles, Raphaël (2015). Accumulation of biologically fixed nitrogen by legumes cultivated as cover crops in Switzerland Plant and Soil, 393(1-2), pp. 163-175. Springer 10.1007/s11104-015-2476-7

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Aims Biological nitrogen fixation by legumes is expected to play a greater role in future cropping systems. Our study evaluated 19 legume species grown as cover crops in Swiss agroecosystems. Methods Two field experiments were set up to monitor the biomass production and nitrogen content of 19 legumes and two non-legumes. The proportion of nitrogen derived from atmospheric N2 (%Ndfa) was assessed using the 15N natural abundance method. In parallel, a pot experiment was set up to determine the species-specific B values necessary to apply this method. Results Some species produced an important amount of biomass in 3 months, up to 6.86 t/ha for Vicia faba. Five species, Lathyrus sativus, Pisum sativum, Vicia sativa, Vicia villosa, and V. faba, acquired more than 100 kg/ha of N through biological fixation. Important amounts of nitrogen were also derived from the soil. %Ndfa values showed high variability between and within species, ranging from 0 % to almost 100 %. Conclusions Some legumes showed high N accumulation even in a short growing period, and could play an important role in fixing renewable nitrogen in crop rotation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Resource-efficient agricultural production systems
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Agriculture

Name:

Büchi, Lucie;
Gebhard, Claude-Alain;
Liebisch, Frank;
Sinaj, Sokrat;
Ramseier, Hans and
Charles, Raphaël

Subjects:

Q Science > QK Botany
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture

ISSN:

0032-079X

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Simon Lutz

Date Deposited:

10 Dec 2019 10:32

Last Modified:

10 Dec 2019 10:32

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s11104-015-2476-7

ARBOR DOI:

10.24451/arbor.8537

URI:

https://arbor.bfh.ch/id/eprint/8537

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