Universität Bonn

INRES Crop Science

Cluster 2 - Diversified cropping systems

Diverse cropping systems offer multiple advantages over conventional sole crop monocultures, including higher crop yields, complementary resource use in time and space among different species, improved weed suppression, and increased biodiversity. Crop diversification can have a temporal (e.g. catch crops, wide crop rotations) or a spatial scale (e.g. crop mixtures, patchy fields on heterogeneous soils), or on both (agroforestry).

The Crop Science Group develops and applies crop growth models not only on conventional but also on diverse cropping systems including crop mixtures, large patchy fields, grassland, and agroforestry systems. Our aim is to advance modelling of a large range of diverse cropping systems including the modelling of crop and root growth, yield, resource use (water, nutrients) and ecosystem services. Best management practices and optimal spatio-temporal field arrangements for diverse cropping systems mixtures (e.g. crop species partners and proportions, row distances, seeding densities) under varying climatic and soil conditions will be identified. Furthermore, the group works on pest and disease modelling.

Key references

Hufnagel, J., M. Reckling, and F. Ewert. 2020. Diverse approaches to crop diversification in agricultural research. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development 40.

Mouratiadou, I., Stella, T., Gaiser, T., Wicke, B., Nendel, C., Ewert, F., van der Hilst, F., 2020. Sustainable intensification of crop residue exploitation for bioenergy: Opportunities and challenges. GCB Bioenergy 12, 71-89.

Zeng W., Srivastava, A.K., Gaiser, T. et al., (2020):  Parameter sensitivity and uncertainty analysis of radiation interception models for intercropping system. Ecological Chemistry and Engineering S. doi: 10.2478/eces-2020-0028

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