Perennial cereal grain production is developing as an agricultural practice globally, including in Europe. Perennial cereal grain production has many similarities to other grass-based production systems and semi-natural grasslands, with larger possibilities to host biodiversity and to provide a carbon sink. Thus, including perennial cereal grain crops in the current agricultural landscape could mitigate the threats agriculture are posing to biodiversity and mitigate the climate change by increasing the sequestration of C into the soil.
Utilizing our SITES Agroecological Field Experiment (SAFE), we will assess the potential of T. intermedium to deliver ecosystem services at field level in comparison to annual counterparts (winter wheat and winter rye). We will focus on soil microbial biomass to determine the size and the relative amounts of microbial functional groups under both annual and perennial cereal crops. In addition, we will explore the potential relationships between the soil microbial community and crop performance.
Dimitrova Mårtensson et al (2022) Agronomic performance, nitrogen acquisition and water-use efficiency of the perennial grain crop Thinopyrum intermedium in a monoculture and intercropped with alfalfa in Scandinavia. Agronomy for Sustainable Development. In press.
Duchene, O., Celette, F., Barreiro, A., Dimitrova Mårtensson, L-M., Freschet, David, C. (2020) Introducing perennial grain in grain crops rotation: the role of rooting pattern in soil quality management. Agronomy 10:1-17. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091254
Dimitrova Mårtensson, L-M, Duchene, O., Jensen, E.S., & Barreiro, A. (2020) Perennial crops for sustainable soil management – Symbiotic fungi benefit from cultivation of a perennial cereal in Europe. Extended conference abstract. FAO Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity, Rome, Italy. – PDF