Cover Crops in a Changing Climate: Can Mixtures Reduce Water Stress? Public Deposited
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Climate change models predict more extreme rain events and drought to occur in different areas of the mid-latitude region. Farmers and researchers have been looking for solutions to reduce negative impacts of these precipitation changes. Cover cropping is a promising practice as it minimizes erosion in extreme rain events and conserves water in drought years if used as mulch for the following crop. To adapt to climate change and achieve production goals at the same time, growing multispecies of cover crops is a potential approach as different species provide complementary ecosystem services. Despite a large volume of research on how cover crops support agriculture in a changing climate, understanding is limited of how climate change influences the growth of cover crops. I investigated the early development of two common cover crop species – crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.) and rye (Secale cereale L.) – in response to water stress, and evaluated if a cover crop mixture is capable of ameliorating water stress. I hypothesized that rye and crimson clover grown in the mixture would have a better performance than those grown in monocultures. To examine the influence of water stress and diversity on plant growth, a one-month experiment was conducted, where the two factors were fully crossed in randomized blocks. To determine plant growth, I recorded survival and growth rate throughout the experiment; at the conclusion of the experiment, I collected total biomass and generated root traits using RhizoVision Explorer program. I found that water stress negatively influenced the growth of cover crops, and the impacts varied among species: crimson clover showed to be susceptible to drought, and rye performed poorly under waterlogging. In the face of these stresses, growing in mixtures showed potential to ameliorate water stress via sampling effect and niche complementarity.
MLA citation style. 2022. https://dickinson.hykucommons.org/concern/etds/cd2930e9-3f19-42d1-aa1f-8f1c237e5529?locale=en Cover Crops In a Changing Climate: Can Mixtures Reduce Water Stress?.
APA citation style(2022). Cover Crops in a Changing Climate: Can Mixtures Reduce Water Stress?. https://dickinson.hykucommons.org/concern/etds/cd2930e9-3f19-42d1-aa1f-8f1c237e5529?locale=en
Chicago citation styleCover Crops In a Changing Climate: Can Mixtures Reduce Water Stress?. 2022. https://dickinson.hykucommons.org/concern/etds/cd2930e9-3f19-42d1-aa1f-8f1c237e5529?locale=en
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