Cropping among trees with perennial legumes is one option for increasing agro-ecosystem services, such as improving the nitrogen supply and increasing soil protection by herbaceous vegeta-tion. Moreover, cropping under the canopy of olive trees should diversify the farm production, compared to the traditional fallow management. Among perennial legumes, alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) produces abundant biomass under Mediterranean rainfed condition. Based on this, a two-year field experiment was implemented in southern Tuscany in a rainfed olive orchard to test the competition for light effects on alfalfa biomass production and nutritive value. Light availability under the tree canopy was measured by hemispherical photos. In both years, the alfalfa yield of under-canopy varied according to the tree presence. A significant relationship between biomass production and light availability was recorded. The nutritive value of under-canopy alfalfa was similar to that of the open-grown alfalfa. However, same significant differences did however occur, between shaded and sole crop. When differences were found, under-canopy herbage was characterised by a higher content of crude protein and a lower content of fibre with respect to open-grown. In a hilly silvoarable olive orchard, alfalfa biomass accumulation was reduced mainly due to scarce light availability, therefore tree management such as pruning and plantation layout can enhance the herbage productivity. Studying shade tolerant forage legumes in order to enhance the yield and nutritive value of herbage production in rainfed agroforestry systems is essential.

Competition for light affects alfalfa biomass production more than its nutritive value in an olive-based alley-cropping system / A. Mantino, C. Tozzini, E. Bonari, M. Mele, G. Ragaglini. - In: FORESTS. - ISSN 1999-4907. - 12:2(2021), pp. 233.1-233.13. [10.3390/f12020233]

Competition for light affects alfalfa biomass production more than its nutritive value in an olive-based alley-cropping system

G. Ragaglini
2021

Abstract

Cropping among trees with perennial legumes is one option for increasing agro-ecosystem services, such as improving the nitrogen supply and increasing soil protection by herbaceous vegeta-tion. Moreover, cropping under the canopy of olive trees should diversify the farm production, compared to the traditional fallow management. Among perennial legumes, alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) produces abundant biomass under Mediterranean rainfed condition. Based on this, a two-year field experiment was implemented in southern Tuscany in a rainfed olive orchard to test the competition for light effects on alfalfa biomass production and nutritive value. Light availability under the tree canopy was measured by hemispherical photos. In both years, the alfalfa yield of under-canopy varied according to the tree presence. A significant relationship between biomass production and light availability was recorded. The nutritive value of under-canopy alfalfa was similar to that of the open-grown alfalfa. However, same significant differences did however occur, between shaded and sole crop. When differences were found, under-canopy herbage was characterised by a higher content of crude protein and a lower content of fibre with respect to open-grown. In a hilly silvoarable olive orchard, alfalfa biomass accumulation was reduced mainly due to scarce light availability, therefore tree management such as pruning and plantation layout can enhance the herbage productivity. Studying shade tolerant forage legumes in order to enhance the yield and nutritive value of herbage production in rainfed agroforestry systems is essential.
Agroforestry; Biomass; Forage; Legume; Pasture; Shade; Silvoarable
Settore AGR/02 - Agronomia e Coltivazioni Erbacee
Article (author)
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
forests-12-00233-v2.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Publisher's version/PDF
Dimensione 1.96 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.96 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/838335
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 5
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 4
social impact