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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2022, Vol. 21 Issue (4): 1177-1187    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63674-2
Special Issue: 农业生态环境-氮素合辑Agro-ecosystem & Environment—Nitrogen
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Transfer characteristics of nitrogen fixed by leguminous green manure crops when intercropped with maize in northwestern China
LIU Rui1, ZHOU Guo-peng2, CHANG Dan-na2, GAO Song-juan3, HAN Mei1, ZHANG Jiu-dong4, SUN Xiao-feng1, CAO Wei-dong2
1 Institute of Soil and Fertilizer, Qinghai Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences/The Graduate School, Qinghai University, Xining 810016, P.R.China
2 Key Laboratory of Plant Nutrition and Fertilizer, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs/Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, P.R.China
3 College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, P.R.China
4 Institute of Soil and Fertilizer and Water-saving, Gansu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Lanzhou 730070, P.R.China
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研究西北地区(西宁、武威)玉米间作豆科绿肥系统中豆科绿肥的生物固氮量及其向玉米的氮素转移量,探讨间作条件下玉米利用豆科绿肥生物固氮的可能性。试验处理包括玉米单作、绿肥(箭筈豌豆和毛叶苕子)单作、玉米和绿肥间作。与绿肥单作相比,间作绿肥的生物固氮效率无显著变化(西宁毛叶苕子除外);但西宁、武威两地箭筈豌豆生物固氮量分别从1.16和1.10 g/盆显著降低至0.77和0.55 g/盆,西宁毛叶苕子生物固氮量从1.02 g/盆显著降低至0.48 g/盆。西宁和武威间作系统中,箭筈豌豆氮素转移量分别为21.54和26.81 mg/盆,占玉米吸氮量的32.9和5.9%;毛叶苕子的氮素转移量分别为39.61和46.22 mg/盆,占玉米吸氮量的37.0和23.3%。路径分析结果表明,绿肥生物固氮量主要与土壤养分与地上部干物质量相关,氮素转移量主要与土壤δ15N相关。结果表明,玉米吸氮量的5.9~37.0%来自于豆科绿肥生物固氮,毛叶苕子的氮素转移量高于箭筈豌豆。综上所述,与豆科绿肥间作,是玉米有效利用豆科绿肥生物固氮的可能途径。

Abstract  To ascertain the possibility of cultivating maize using biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) by leguminous green manure crops in maize/leguminous green manure intercropping systems, BNF and nitrogen (N) transfer were studied in Xining and Wuwei, two typical northwestern Chinese cities.  The experimental treatments included monocultured maize, monocultured green manures (hairy vetch and common vetch), and their intercropping systems.  The proportions of N derived from the atmosphere (%Ndfa) in intercropping systems were not significantly different from that in monocultured green manure systems at either experimental site, except for that in hairy vetch (HV) in Xining.  The amount of N derived from the atmosphere (Ndfa) of common vetch (CV) significantly decreased from 1.16 and 1.10 g/pot in monoculture to 0.77 and 0.55 g/pot when intercropped with maize, in Xining and Wuwei, respectively, and the Ndfa of HV when intercropped significantly decreased from 1.02 to 0.48 g/pot in Xining.  In the intercropping systems in Xining and Wuwei, the amounts of N transferred (Ntransfer) from CV to maize were 21.54 and 26.81 mg/pot, accounting for 32.9 and 5.9% respectively of the N accumulation in maize, and the values of Ntransfer from HV to maize were 39.61 and 46.22 mg/pot, accounting for 37.0 and 23.3%, respectively, of the N accumulation in maize.  Path analysis showed that soil nutrient and green manure biomass were mainly related to Ndfa, and that δ15N had a primary relationship with Ntransfer.  We found that 5.9–37.0% of N accumulation in maize was transferred from green manures, and that the N transfer ability to maize of HV was higher than that of CV.  In conclusion, intercropping with leguminous green manures provided a feasible way for maize to effectively utilize biologically fixed N.
Keywords:  green manure       maize        intercropping        biological nitrogen fixation        nitrogen transfer  
Received: 05 September 2020   Accepted: 05 March 2021
Fund: This work was financially supported by the China Agriculture Research System of MOF and MARA (CARS-22), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (32072678), the Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS-ASTIP-2020), the Chinese Outstanding Talents Program in Agricultural Science, the Protection and Utilization of Crop Germplasm Resources of China Green Manure (19200393) and the Fund Project of Qinghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences (2019-NKY-06).
About author:  LIU Rui, Tel: +86-10-82106733, E-mail:; Correspondence SUN Xiao-feng, E-mail:; CAO Wei-dong, Tel: +86-10-82106733, E-mail:

Cite this article: 

LIU Rui, ZHOU Guo-peng, CHANG Dan-na, GAO Song-juan, HAN Mei, ZHANG Jiu-dong, SUN Xiao-feng, CAO Wei-dong. 2022. Transfer characteristics of nitrogen fixed by leguminous green manure crops when intercropped with maize in northwestern China. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 21(4): 1177-1187.

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