Allelopathic effects account for the inhibitory effect of field-pea (Pisum sativum L.) shoots on wheat growth in dense clay subsoils
journal contributionposted on 10.02.2021, 03:43 by Xiaojuan Wang, Peter Sale, Zhiqian Liu, Roger Armstrong, Simone Rochfort, Caixian Tang
© 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature. The deep-placement of nutrient-rich organic amendments in poorly-structured subsoils can improve subsoil structure and increase grain yields, but its widespread adoption by farmers is limited by the availability and cost of animal manures, the current choice of amendment. Three glasshouse experiments investigated the effectiveness of dried field pea (Pisum sativum L.) shoots (green chop), as green manure, on wheat growth in three subsoils with contrasting soil chemical and physical properties. The growth of wheat plants was greatly suppressed when the green chop was placed in Sodosol and Chromosol subsoils. In contrast, there was a twofold increase in shoot biomass in response to the addition of green chop to Vertosol. Three allelopathic compounds, pisatin, anhydropisatin, and maackian, were identified at higher concentrations in the extracts of remaining green chop residues in the Sodosol and Chromosol, compared to the Vertosol, directly supporting phytotoxicity as the cause of observed inhibitory effects of green chop in these soils. The persistence of the phytotoxicity in the Sodosol might be attributed to its poor aeration caused by poor structure or compaction. Nevertheless, pre-incubation led to microbial decomposition of the allelochemicals in the Sodosol, though at a much slower rate than in the Vertosol. Further studies are needed to determine the time period required for the disappearance of the phytotoxic effects in soils with different physico-chemical properties.