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Products: Peanuts
Subject: Sustainability

Maize/peanut rotation intercropping improves ecosystem carbon budget and economic benefits in the dry farming regions of China

Authors: Han, F., Javed, T., Hussain, S., Guo, S., Guo, R., Yang, L., Liu, X., Cai, T., Zhang, P., Jia, Z., Shah, A. A., Chen, X., & Ren, X.
  • Journals: J Environ Manage
  • Pages: 120090
  • Volume: 353
  • Year: 2024
Monoculture is widely practiced to increase crop productivity, but long-term adaptation has drawbacks as it increases the depletion of soil nutrients and reduces soil quality, especially in dryland areas. Conversion from traditional maize monoculture to intercropping improves sustainable production. However, maize/peanut intercropping, especially rotation of planting strips impacts of maize/peanut intercropping in dryland on carbon (C) budgets and economic benefits remain unclear. In this study, a 5-year field experiment was conducted to evaluate the influence of maize/peanut intercropping with rotation of planting strips on soil health, indirect CO2-eq greenhouse gas emissions, and ecosystem C inputs. Four intercropping treatments viz. maize monoculture, peanut monoculture, maize/peanut intercropping, and maize/peanut rotation-intercropping were tested from 2018 to 2022. Maize/peanut rotation intercropping significantly improved the land equivalent ratio followed by intercropping and monoculture. Rotation-intercropping also improved economic benefits over intercropping and monoculture which were mainly associated with increased peanut yield where the border rows contributed the maximum, followed by the middle rows. Moreover, rotation-intercropping significantly increased the soil organic C and nitrogen (N) content. Rotation-intercropping decreased indirect CO2-eq greenhouse gas emissions and ecosystem C inputs by 3.11% and 18.04%, whereas increased ecosystem C outputs and net ecosystem C budget by 10.38% and 29.14%, respectively, over the average of monoculture. On average for intercropping and monoculture, rotation-intercropping increased ecosystem C emission efficiency for economic benefits by 51.94% and 227.27% in 2021 and 2022, respectively, showing the highest C utilization efficiency than other treatments. In the long run, maize/peanut rotation-intercropping can be practiced in dryland agriculture to achieve sustainable agriculture goals. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2024.120090