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Title

The effects of intraspecific and interspecific competition


between radish (Raphanus sativus) and ryegrass (Secale cereal) .
Abstract:
The current greenhouse study was designed determine if there is evidence
for intraspecific competition between radish (Raphanus sativus) and annual
ryegrass (Secale cereal). The experiment also studied the effects of interspecific
competition between radish and rye and whether the effects of interspecific
competition are greater or less than the effects of intraspecific on each species.

Introduction:
Competition occurs when one type of organism deprives another of essential
resources, resulting in a decline in survivorship or reproduction of the latter. When
both types of organisms consume significant amounts of essential resources, both
may be negatively affected. In the case of plants, life is a constant struggle to
compete with the surrounding plants for resources such as: space, light, nutrients,
water, etc. Similar organisms that have the same resources needs would deprive
each other of essential requirements. Therefore competition between members of
the same species (intraspecific competition) should be more severe that
competition between different species (interspecific competition).
Intensive management of large-scale plantings of genetically homogeneous crops
has been linked to reductions in soil and water quality and ecosystem services

[1]

The impact of intensive plantings can have a detrimental effect on the environment.
To minimize the effect of large-scale plantings, alternative agronomic practices to
reduce the impact of agriculture on the environment were the focus for many
scientific studies. One alternative is to grow different plants on the same field
(intercropping). This process can be beneficial because the plants used in the
intercropping consume the available resources efficiently and they may reduce
weed, pest, and disease incidence, therefore less pesticide would be used and also
the increase diversity can be beneficial for insects and microorganisms.

Intercropping may also help facilitate nutrient and water acquisition [2], which may
increase crop biomass and grain yield, and improve crop quality and ecosystem
sustainability.
The greatest benefits of intercropping often occur when the mixed crop species
differ markedly in morphology, phenology or physiology, thereby increasing the
potential for niche differentiation and beneficial symbiotic relationships. Plant
density, species proportion, spatial arrangement, crop architecture, species life
cycle, and the relative roles of intra- and interspecific competition must be taken
into consideration when selecting species for an intercropping system to ensure that
crops have adequate resources to maximize growth and minimize competition

[3]

Cereal grains and legumes are some of the most commonly promoted species for
intercropping[4]. Legumes, including radish (Raphanus sativus), have the ability to fix
atmospheric nitrogen (N), thereby increasing soil inorganic Nitrogen. Cereal crops
planted alongside legumes may be able to exploit this increase in soil Nitrogen and
growers, in turn, may reduce their reliance on inorganic fertilizer and fossil energy
resources

[5]

. Additional benefits associated with legume-cereal intercropping

include: increased biomass and grain yield

[6]

, more efficient use of limited

resources[7], and weed suppression [8].


The current greenhouse study was designed determine if there is evidence
for intraspecific competition between radish (Raphanus sativus) and annual
ryegrass (Secale cereal). The experiment also studied the effects of interspecific
competition between radish and rye and whether the effects of interspecific
competition are greater or less than the effects of intraspecific on each species.
Our hypotheses were that there is evidence for intraspecific competition in radish
and rye and there is evidence that there is interspecific competition.
Materials and methods
A greenhouse trial was conducted at California State University San Bernardino to
evaluate the plant competition between radish and rye seedling.

Planting Density

Results
Discussion

References:
[1]

Malezieux, E., Crozat, Y., Dupraz, C., Laurans, M., Makaowski, D., Ozier-Lafontaine,

H., Rapidel, B., de Tourdonnet, D., &Valantin-Morison, M. (2009).Mixing plant species


in cropping systems: concepts, toolsand models.A review.Agronomy for Sustainable
Development, 29, 43-62.

[2]

Hauggard-Nielsen, H. & Andersen, M. K. (2000). Intercropping grain legumes and

cereals in organic croppingsystems.Grain Legumes, 30, 18-19.

[3]

Andersen, M. K., Hauggaard-Nielsen, H., Weiner, J. & Jensen, E. S.(2007).

Competitive dynamics in two- and three-component intercrops. Journal of Applied


Ecology, 44,545-551.

[4]

Anil, L., Park, L., Phipps, R. H., &Miller, F. A. (1998). Temperate intercropping of

cereals for forage: a review of the potential for growth and utilization with particular
reference to the UK. Grass and Forage Science,53,301-317

[5]

Neumann, A., Schmidtke, K., &Rauber, R. (2007). Effects of crop density and tillage

system on grain yield andN uptake from soil and atmosphere of sole and
intercropped pea and oat.Field Crops Research, 100,285-293.

[6]

Carr, P. M., Gardner, C. G., Schatz, B. G., Zwinger, S. W. &Guldan, S. J. (1995).

Grain yield and weed biomassof a wheat-lentil intercrop. Agronomy Journal, 87, 574579.

[7]

Spitters, C. J. T. (1983). An alternative approach to the analysis of mixed cropping

experiments: I. Estimation ofcompetition effects. Netherlands Journal of Agricultural


Science, 31,1-11.

[8]

Hauggaard-Nielsen, H., Ambus, P. &Jensen, E. S. (2001). Interspecific competition,

N use and interference withweeds in pea-barley intercropping.Field Crops Research,


70, 101-109.