Evaluation of the field performance, nitrogen fixation efficiency and competitive ability of pea landraces grown under organic and conventional farming systems
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2018, 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. In the present study, three pea Greek landraces Schinousa (AUASCHIN001), Andros (AUAANDRO001), and Amorgos (AUAAMORG001), and the commercial variety Onward were grown following either conventional or organic farming practices. The main objective of the study was to assess the suitability of these three landraces for organic cultivation as compared with a standard commercial variety. The total fresh pod yield produced by AUASCHIN001 and AUAAMORG001 was significantly lower than that obtained from Onward and AUAANDRO001. Furthermore, the three landraces exhibited a higher competition to weeds than the commercial variety. Under organic farming conditions, AUASCHIN001 and AUAAMORG001 produced appreciably less shoot biomass than Onward and this resulted in commensurate decreases in the total amount of BNF (biological nitrogen fixation) in their plant tissues, although the percentage of nitrogen (N) fixed from the atmosphere was significantly lower in Onward. AUAANDRO001 rendered the highest amounts of BNF in the organic farming systems, which was similar to that produced by Onward in the conventional system. These results indicate that the tested landraces and especially AUAANDRO001 are more adaptable to low soil N levels and high weed competition, and thus they are more suitable for organic cultivation than Onward which performs best in conventional cropping systems.