The Mediterranean basin (MB), a "climate hotspot", is experiencing faster than average increases in global temperature and water deficit, as well as soil degradation, with detrimental impacts on food crop yield and pest/pathogen incidence. Hence, there is an urgent requisite for sustainable crop diversification strategies to promote crop resilience, soil quality conservation and pest/pathogen control. Intercropping is a strategy that has yet to be widely adopted. Presently, cereal-legume combinations represent the most common intercrops. Of relevance, a large number of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs), native to the MB, serve as potentially profitable indigenous resources for intercropping with food crops. Environmentally sustainable benefits of MB MAP intercropping with food crops have ironically been reported largely from research outside the MB. The present study aims to review the published literature from 2003 to 2023 on MAP intercropping with perennial nut/fruit crops and annual field crops in the MB. Published research is scarce but shows a promising upward trend, with 70% and 47% of intercropping studies with perennials and annual field crops, respectively, dated between 2020 and 2023. MAP intercropping shows potential in augmenting yield, pest/pathogen and weed control, soil health and cash crop quality, warranting further research with more widespread adoption in the MB.

Intercropping Perennial Fruit Trees and Annual Field Crops with Aromatic and Medicinal Plants (MAPs) in the Mediterranean Basin

Marotti, Ilaria
Primo
;
Whittaker, Anne;Dinelli, Giovanni
2023

Abstract

The Mediterranean basin (MB), a "climate hotspot", is experiencing faster than average increases in global temperature and water deficit, as well as soil degradation, with detrimental impacts on food crop yield and pest/pathogen incidence. Hence, there is an urgent requisite for sustainable crop diversification strategies to promote crop resilience, soil quality conservation and pest/pathogen control. Intercropping is a strategy that has yet to be widely adopted. Presently, cereal-legume combinations represent the most common intercrops. Of relevance, a large number of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs), native to the MB, serve as potentially profitable indigenous resources for intercropping with food crops. Environmentally sustainable benefits of MB MAP intercropping with food crops have ironically been reported largely from research outside the MB. The present study aims to review the published literature from 2003 to 2023 on MAP intercropping with perennial nut/fruit crops and annual field crops in the MB. Published research is scarce but shows a promising upward trend, with 70% and 47% of intercropping studies with perennials and annual field crops, respectively, dated between 2020 and 2023. MAP intercropping shows potential in augmenting yield, pest/pathogen and weed control, soil health and cash crop quality, warranting further research with more widespread adoption in the MB.
2023
Marotti, Ilaria; Whittaker, Anne; Bağdat, Reyhan Bahtiyarca; Akin, Pervin Ari; Ergün, Namuk; Dinelli, Giovanni
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Marotti et al._MAPs_sustainability_2023.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipo: Versione (PDF) editoriale
Licenza: Licenza per Accesso Aperto. Creative Commons Attribuzione (CCBY)
Dimensione 725.47 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
725.47 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/959393
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact