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Abstract Detail

Economic Botany Section

Vasseur, Liette [1], Chen, Li-Lin [2], You, Min-Sheng [2].

Responses of plant productivity in a tea plantation with or without intercropping.

Tea is one of the most economically important crops in southern and central provinces of China. With increasing pressure on the world market to limit pesticide residues on consumables, alternative cultivation techniques such as intercropping have been studied and in some cases, promoted. We examined the responses of plant community and tea production in a plantation located in Wuyi Mountains, Fujian Province, China. Two intercropped treatments of forage crop species, Paspalum notatum Flügge (Poaceae) and Cassia rotundifolia Pers (Fabaceae) as well as a control where natural existing vegetation was left intact were used. Plant species were harvested in September 2006. We used plant biomass as a proxy for plant community composition. The principal component analysis showed that plant communities significantly varied between treatments and over time (between sampling in September and October). Intercrops dominated in their respective treatments while Eleusine indica and Digitaria ciliaris were the dominant species in the natural vegetation plots. Plant species richness significantly differed among treatments with greater richness in plots intercropped with C. rotundifolia. In terms of plant biomass, there were significant differences between treatments with higher biomass in control mainly for weeds such as Eleusine indica and Digitaria ciliaris. The results suggest that intercropping may have a positive effect by controlling weeds. However, it is unclear as of whether it may reduce plant competition and therefore improving tea production. Further studies should also examine tea quality and pesticide residues to ensure that such a system can be sustainable in the long term.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Brock University, Biological Sciences, 500 Glenridge Ave, St Catharines, ON, L2S3A1, Canada
2 - Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Institute of Applied Ecology, Fuzhou, Fujian , 350002, China


Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 4
Location: Union C/Hyatt
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 8:30 AM
Number: 4001
Abstract ID:215

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