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1. chinaXiv:202006.00212 [pdf]

Ridge-furrow plastic mulching with a suitable planting density enhances rainwater productivity, grain yield and economic benefit of rainfed maize

ZHENG Jing; FAN Junliang; ZOU Yufeng; Henry Wai CHAU; ZHANG Fucang
Subjects: Geosciences >> Hydrology

Soil surface mulching and planting density regulation are widely used for effective utilization of limited rainwater resources and improvement of crop productivity in dryland farming. However, the combined effects of mulching type and planting density on maize growth and yield have been seldom studied, especially in different hydrological years. A field experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of mulching type and planting density on the soil temperature, growth, grain yield (GY), water use efficiency (WUE) and economic benefit of rainfed maize in the drylands of northern China during 2015–2017. Precipitation fluctuated over the three years. There were four mulching types (NM, flat cultivation with non-mulching; SM, flat cultivation with straw mulching; RP, plastic-mulched ridge plus bare furrow; RPFS, plastic-mulched ridge plus straw-mulched furrow) and three planting densities (LD, low planting density, 45.0×103 plants/hm2; MD, medium planting density, 67.5×103 plants/hm2; HD, high planting density, 90.0×103 plants/hm2). Results showed that soil temperature was higher with RP and lower with SM compared with NM, but no significant difference was found between RPFS and NM. More soil water was retained by soil mulching at the early growth stage, but it significantly varied at the middle and late growth stages. Maize growth was significantly improved by soil mulching. With increasing planting density, stem diameter, net photosynthetic rate and chlorophyll content tended to decline, whereas a single-peak trend in biomass yield was observed. Mulching type and planting density did not have significant effect on evapotranspiration (ET), but GY and WUE were significantly affected. There were significant interacting effects of mulching type and planting density on biomass yield, GY, ET and WUE. Compared with NM, RPFS, RP and SM increased GY by 57.5%, 50.8% and 18.9%, and increased WUE by 66.6%, 54.3% and 18.1%, respectively. At MD, GY increased by 41.4% and 25.2%, and WUE increased by 38.6% and 22.4% compared with those of at LD and HD. The highest maize GY (7023.2 kg/hm2) was observed under MD+RPFS, but the value (6699.1 kg/hm2) was insignificant under MD+RP. Similar trends were observed for WUE under MD+RP and MD+RPFS, but no significant difference was observed between these two combinations. In terms of economic benefit, net income under MD+RP was the highest with a 9.8% increase compared with that of under MD+RPFS. Therefore, we concluded that RP cultivation pattern with a suitable planting density (67.5×103 plants/hm2) is promising for rainwater resources utilization and maize production in the drylands of northern China.

submitted time 2020-06-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits5416Downloads359 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:201809.00164 [pdf]

Mulching mode and planting density affect canopy interception loss of rainfall and water use efficiency of dryland maize on the Loess Plateau of China

ZHENG Jing; FAN Junliang; ZHANG Fucang; YAN Shicheng; GUO Jinjin; CHEN Dongfeng; LI Zhijun
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

High and efficient use of limited rainwater resources is of crucial importance for the crop production in arid and semi-arid areas. To investigate the effects of different soil and crop management practices (i.e., mulching mode treatments: flat cultivation with non-mulching, flat cultivation with straw mulching, plastic-covered ridge with bare furrow and plastic-covered ridge with straw-covered furrow; and planting density treatments: low planting density of 45,000 plants/hm2, medium planting density of 67,500 plants/hm2 and high planting density of 90,000 plants/hm2) on rainfall partitioning by dryland maize canopy, especially the resulted net rainfall input beneath the maize canopy, we measured the gross rainfall, throughfall and stemflow at different growth stages of dryland maize in 2015 and 2016 on the Loess Plateau of China. The canopy interception loss was estimated by the water balance method. Soil water storage, leaf area index, grain yield (as well as it components) and water use efficiency of dryland maize were measured or calculated. Results showed that the cumulative throughfall, cumulative stemflow and cumulative canopy interception loss during the whole growing season accounted for 42.3%–77.5%, 15.1%–36.3% and 7.4%–21.4% of the total gross rainfall under different treatments, respectively. Soil mulching could promote the growth and development of dryland maize and enhance the capability of stemflow production and canopy interception loss, thereby increasing the relative stemflow and relative canopy interception loss and reducing the relative throughfall. The relative stemflow and relative canopy interception loss generally increased with increasing planting density, while the relative throughfall decreased with increasing planting density. During the two experimental years, mulching mode had no significant influence on net rainfall due to the compensation between throughfall and stemflow, whereas planting density significantly affected net rainfall. The highest grain yield and water use efficiency of dryland maize were obtained under the combination of medium planting density of 67,500 plants/hm2 and mulching mode of plastic-covered ridge with straw-covered furrow. Soil mulching can reduce soil evaporation and retain more soil water for dryland maize without reducing the net rainfall input beneath the maize canopy, which may alleviate the contradiction between high soil water consumption and insufficient rainfall input of the soil. In conclusion, the application of medium planting density (67,500 plants/hm2) under plastic-covered ridge with bare furrow is recommended for increasing dryland maize production on the Loess Plateau of China.

submitted time 2018-09-18 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits2465Downloads642 Comment 0

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