Fine roots distribution, light conditions and yield in a tree-based intercrop system
"In tree-based intercrop systems (TBI), trees are planted in widely spaced rows to allow agricultural activities to continue. These agroforestry systems are new in Qu_bec but well known in Europe, USA and China (Baldy et al., 1993; Rivest and Olivier, 2007). The integration of trees into an agroforestry system has the potential to enhance soil fertility, reduce erosion, improve water quality, increase biodiversity and aesthetics, and sequester carbon (Jose, 2009; Montagnini and Nair, 2004). However, the presence of trees also results in aboveground and belowground interspecific interactions with crop, which can include competition, facilitation or complementarity (Jose et al., 2004; Rivest and Olivier, 2007; Van Noordwijk et al., 1996). In theory, TBI systems can be more productive than the respective monocultures if trees have the capacity to take resources like water and nutrients in deeper soil layers than those used by crops (Cannell et al., 1996)."--Introduction.