Intercropping maize with Andean lupin: A view to the roots
The introduction of Andean lupin to cropping systems in Europe is currently subject to research. Intercropping Andean lupin with silage maize for bioenergy might prove advantageous to decrease negative impacts of maize monoculture on the environment. The below-ground interactions of complementary intercropped species such as maize and lupin can be crucial for the success or failure of the crop. During 2019, the root distribution patterns of lupin and maize in both intercropping and sole crop were investigated in a field trial in Northern Germany using a profile wall and a monolith method. The main barrier to root distribution was the boundary of topsoil and clay subsoil for both crops. In the subsoil, Andean lupin showed a trend of an increasing specific root length. In intercropping, a shift in total root distribution to higher depths was observed. These effects could have a positive impact on the resource use efficiency in intercropping.