Juliana Wu Sciences
Facilitative and Competitive Nutrient Interactions With Changing Crop Spacing and Density in a Broccoli and Fava Intercropping System
Intercropping with legumes is an agricultural practice where crops are cultivated with a legume, commonly fava, that is capable of fixing nitrogen and increasing soil fertility. Juliana’s study aims to measure the effect of crop spacing and density on facilitative and competitive interactions for nitrogen and phosphorus in an intercropping system of fava bean (Vicia faba) and broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) in a combined greenhouse and field experiment. The field experiment will implement varying treatments of spacing, fava density, and harvesting time. The greenhouse experiment will incorporate root barriers to isolate biological processes such as root exudation to further understand soil nutrient cycling. Increased understanding of crop nutrient interactions can better inform future agricultural management to utilize biological processes in place of fertilizers, which are expensive economically and environmentally.