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Biomass and grain yield in Cynar cardunculus L. genotypes grown in a permanent crop with low input

Mauromicale, G., Ierna, A.
Acta horticulturae 2004 no.660 pp. 593-598
Cynara cardunculus, artichokes, bioenergy, biomass, cardoons, crop year, cropping systems, genotype, grain yield, irrigation water, nitrogen, oils, progeny, weed control, Italy, Mediterranean region, Sicily
Previous studies indicate as possible utilization of the three Cynara cardunculus botanical varieties (globe artichoke, cultivated cardoon and wild cardoon) for biomass and grain production. However, further studies in this field were needed to assess the potential of C. cardunculus grown as perennial cropping system under low input in a hot and dry Mediterranean area. The experiment was conducted during the four seasons at the Catania plain in Sicily (South Italy) with the purpose of studing the potential of five genotypes of C. cardunculus as biomass for energy and grain for oil source. The tested material included 1 cultivated cardoon, 1 globe artichoke line, 1 progeny from “globe artichoke x wild cardoon”, 1 progeny from "cultivated cardoon x wild cardoon" and 1 progeny from "globe artichoke x cultivated cardoon". Each year the crop received only 50 mm of irrigation water and 80 kg ha-1 of nitrogen, a manual weeding in October and December. On a 4-year average, cultivated cardoon gave 20.6 t ha-1 year-1 of dry biomass and 1.6 t ha-1 year -1 of grain, globe artichoke 11.5 and 0.6 t ha-1 year-1, "globe artichoke x wild cardoon" 22.0 and 1.3 t ha-1 year-1, "globe artichoke x cultivated cardoon" 19.5 and 1.1 t ha-1 year-1 and "cultivated cardoon x wild cardoon" 18.5 and 1.4 t ha-1 year-1. Regardless of the genotype, the biomass and grain production was significantly higher in the second year.