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Combined effects of mulching and crop density on soil evaporation, temperature, and water use efficiency of winter wheat

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 July 2021

Dingpu Cheng
Affiliation:
Shenzhen Water Planning & Design Institute Co., Ltd., Shenzhen 518001, China
Zhiqiang Wang
Affiliation:
School of Civil Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University (Zhuhai Campus), Tangjiawan, 519082, Zhuhai, Guangdong, China Guangdong Engineering Technology Research Center of Water Security Regulation and Control for Southern China, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory for Marine Civil Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University (Zhuhai Campus), Tangjiawan, 519082, Zhuhai, Guangdong, China
Lingna Yang
Affiliation:
Guangdong Engineering Technology Research Center of Water Security Regulation and Control for Southern China, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory for Marine Civil Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University (Zhuhai Campus), Tangjiawan, 519082, Zhuhai, Guangdong, China School of Marine Engineering and Technology, Sun Yat-sen University (Zhuhai Campus), Tangjiawan, 519082, Zhuhai, Guangdong, China
Lidan Zhang
Affiliation:
School of Civil Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University (Zhuhai Campus), Tangjiawan, 519082, Zhuhai, Guangdong, China Guangdong Engineering Technology Research Center of Water Security Regulation and Control for Southern China, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory for Marine Civil Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University (Zhuhai Campus), Tangjiawan, 519082, Zhuhai, Guangdong, China
Qingtao Zhang*
Affiliation:
School of Civil Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University (Zhuhai Campus), Tangjiawan, 519082, Zhuhai, Guangdong, China Guangdong Engineering Technology Research Center of Water Security Regulation and Control for Southern China, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory for Marine Civil Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University (Zhuhai Campus), Tangjiawan, 519082, Zhuhai, Guangdong, China
*
*Corresponding author. Email: zhangqt6@mail.sysu.edu.cn

Abstract

Reducing soil evaporation by different agricultural practices is important not only for water saving but also for its applicability by farmers. In wheat fields, the goal of efficient water management is to save water and increase yield. At present, the combined effects of maize-straw mulching (M) and crop density (D) on soil evaporation and temperature, wheat performance, and water use efficiency (WUE) are not clear. A field experiment was conducted for winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in the North China Plain (NCP). The two levels of crop density included high (HD) and normal density (ND), and the three levels of mulch included high (HM), low (LM), and no mulch (NM). The results indicated that both straw mulching and high crop density had significant inhibitory effects on soil evaporation. Normal crop density with high mulch gave the lowest yield among all treatments because high mulching reduced the soil temperature and hindered the soil temperature increase in early spring. Compared with normal crop density with no mulch, the yield and WUE of winter wheat for high crop density with low mulch (HDLM) were enhanced by 20.6% and 21.9%, respectively. Compared with other treatments, HDLM gave the higher WUE due to the higher soil temperature, leaf area index, and biomass. Therefore, HDLM was an effective way to maximize the WUE of winter wheat in the NCP.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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