Cultivation of vegetables under plastic tunnels is a steadily growing farming system, nevertheless there are concerns about its environmental sustainability. This work tests a new cultivation system based on the application of photo-selective mulching films to the soil combined with beneficial microbes to improve crop yield, save irrigation water and enhance crop irrigation water productivity. A two-year project was carried out in three farms of southern Italy that practice cultivation in greenhouses with different soil characteristics. Photo-selective mulching films (PS) were used alone or in combination with microbial consortia (M) containing beneficial microbes (i.e. antagonistic fungi of the genus Trichoderma, mycorrhizal fungi of the genus Glomus and the plant growth promoting bacterium Bacillus subtilis) and compared with black plastic mulching (B). Soil temperature, soil water content, and irrigation water volumes were continuously monitored for eight cropping cycles including tomato, sweet pepper, lettuce, melon, and kohlrabi. Crop yields were assessed at the end of each cycle. PS films in combination with M significantly increased crop yields with respect to control, with the most positive effects on winter crops. Soil temperature under PS was consistently lower than that under B mulch. All mulching films allowed the saving of irrigation water compared with untreated control, but no difference was detected between PS and B. However, PS increases crop irrigation water productivity (CIWP) compared with B film in 25% of the experimental cases. In conclusion, our results indicate that combining PS films with beneficial microbes in cultivation under plastic tunnel greenhouses promotes crop yield and increases CIWP compared with control in 87.5% and 75% of the study cases, respectively

Combined application of photo-selective mulching films and beneficial microbes affects crop yield and irrigation water productivity in intensive farming systems / Bonanomi, Giuliano; Chirico, GIOVANNI BATTISTA; Palladino, Mario; Gaglione, SALVATORE AGOSTINO; Crispo, DOMENICO GIUSEPPE; Lazzaro, Ugo; Sica, Benedetto; Cesarano, Gaspare; Ippolito, Francesca; Sarker, TUSHAR CHANDRA; Rippa, Massimo; Scala, Felice. - In: AGRICULTURAL WATER MANAGEMENT. - ISSN 0378-3774. - 184:(2017), pp. 104-113. [10.1016/j.agwat.2017.01.011]

Combined application of photo-selective mulching films and beneficial microbes affects crop yield and irrigation water productivity in intensive farming systems

BONANOMI, GIULIANO;CHIRICO, GIOVANNI BATTISTA;PALLADINO, MARIO;GAGLIONE, SALVATORE AGOSTINO;CRISPO, DOMENICO GIUSEPPE;LAZZARO, UGO;SICA, BENEDETTO;CESARANO, GASPARE;IPPOLITO, FRANCESCA;SARKER, TUSHAR CHANDRA;RIPPA, MASSIMO;SCALA, FELICE
2017

Abstract

Cultivation of vegetables under plastic tunnels is a steadily growing farming system, nevertheless there are concerns about its environmental sustainability. This work tests a new cultivation system based on the application of photo-selective mulching films to the soil combined with beneficial microbes to improve crop yield, save irrigation water and enhance crop irrigation water productivity. A two-year project was carried out in three farms of southern Italy that practice cultivation in greenhouses with different soil characteristics. Photo-selective mulching films (PS) were used alone or in combination with microbial consortia (M) containing beneficial microbes (i.e. antagonistic fungi of the genus Trichoderma, mycorrhizal fungi of the genus Glomus and the plant growth promoting bacterium Bacillus subtilis) and compared with black plastic mulching (B). Soil temperature, soil water content, and irrigation water volumes were continuously monitored for eight cropping cycles including tomato, sweet pepper, lettuce, melon, and kohlrabi. Crop yields were assessed at the end of each cycle. PS films in combination with M significantly increased crop yields with respect to control, with the most positive effects on winter crops. Soil temperature under PS was consistently lower than that under B mulch. All mulching films allowed the saving of irrigation water compared with untreated control, but no difference was detected between PS and B. However, PS increases crop irrigation water productivity (CIWP) compared with B film in 25% of the experimental cases. In conclusion, our results indicate that combining PS films with beneficial microbes in cultivation under plastic tunnel greenhouses promotes crop yield and increases CIWP compared with control in 87.5% and 75% of the study cases, respectively
2017
Combined application of photo-selective mulching films and beneficial microbes affects crop yield and irrigation water productivity in intensive farming systems / Bonanomi, Giuliano; Chirico, GIOVANNI BATTISTA; Palladino, Mario; Gaglione, SALVATORE AGOSTINO; Crispo, DOMENICO GIUSEPPE; Lazzaro, Ugo; Sica, Benedetto; Cesarano, Gaspare; Ippolito, Francesca; Sarker, TUSHAR CHANDRA; Rippa, Massimo; Scala, Felice. - In: AGRICULTURAL WATER MANAGEMENT. - ISSN 0378-3774. - 184:(2017), pp. 104-113. [10.1016/j.agwat.2017.01.011]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/689457
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