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Productive efficiencies in corn, bean and squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) associations, intercropped with rows of fruit trees

Molina-Anzures MF1, JL Chávez-Servia2, A Gil-Muñoz1, PA López1, E Hernández-Romero1, E Ortiz-Torres1

1Alumna y profesores del Colegio de Postgraduados Campus Puebla. Boulevard Forjadores de Puebla Núm. 25, Santiago Momoxpan, San Pedro Cholula, Puebla, México C.P. 72760.
2 Instituto Politécnico Nacional, CIIDIR Unidad Oaxaca. Hornos No. 1003, Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán, Oaxaca, México. C.P. 71230.

Address correspondence to: José Luis Chávez-Servia, e-mail:

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2016, 85(all), 36-50. https://doi.org/10.32604/phyton.2016.85.036

Abstract

Mesoamerican agrosystem ‘milpa’ is the association of maize, beans (Phaseolus sp.) and squash (Cucurbits sp.) in the same space and time. It is characterized by the production of a large diversity of species in small areas, but currently its use tends to decrease because of technological introductions of monocultures. In this work, the yield and productive efficiency of the association maize, beans and squash, intercropped with fruit tree rows were evaluated in two locations from Puebla, Mexico, through 32 experimental treatments clustered in three agrosystems. They were: triple associations of maize-beans-squash intercropped with fruit trees, double associations maize-beans without fruit trees, and monocultures with and without intercropped fruit trees, all distributed under a randomized complete block design with three replications. Significant differences (P<0.05) were detected in the analysis of variance for locations of evaluation, agrosystems and experimental treatments based on associations and monocultures, for grain yields and land equivalent ratio. For the comparative index of area yield, there were just significant differences among agrosystems. In these cases, the agrosystems with triple and double associations differed significantly from the monocultures. These agroecosystems surpassed the yields per unit area by two or three times, and had greater productive efficiencies, in comparison to the monocultures. In relation with the performance of genotype-agrosystems, the triple interactions in alternate rows of ‘Tropical’ or ‘Niebla’® maize, ‘Negro’ or ‘Amarillo’ beans and ‘Huejotzingo’ or ‘Moxolahuac’ squash, presented the highest yields (7.13 to 10.1 kg/8 m2) and productive efficiencies (>2.0). The intercropped row of fruit trees conferred a particular microenvironment, and complemented the agrosystem productivity. This was because the production of the fruit trees was significantly and positively associated (r>0.3) with the production of the most efficient and productive triple associations, both in San Andres Calpan with apple trees and in San Lorenzo Chiautzingo with peach trees.

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MF, M., Chávez-Servia, J., Gil-Muñoz, A., López, P., Hernández-Romero, E. et al. (2016). Productive efficiencies in corn, bean and squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) associations, intercropped with rows of fruit trees. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 85(all), 36–50.

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