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Effects of mulching on soil temperature and yield of winter wheat in the semiarid rainfed area
2021-10-22 10:38   审核人:

Mulching is a major production mode with highly effective use of water in the hydrothermal deficient area of northwest China. However, given the differences in environments and crop species among regions, it is important to further understand whether the mulching-induced changes in soil temperature are beneficial to crop production. Here, we used winter wheat to study the effect of mulching on soil temperature, soil water content, dry matter and yield. Two 3-year field experiments were conducted at two sites over 6 consecutive years (2012–2015 at site 1, and 2015–2018 at site 2) in the semiarid rainfed thermal deficient areas of northwest China. In each experiment, three mulching treatments, including straw strip mulching (SSM), plastic film mulching (PFM) and non-mulching (CK), were tested in a replicated randomized block design. Compared with CK, SSM and PFM significantly increased grain yield by 18.6–69.1 % and 35.5–61.3 % in 2012–2017 growing seasons, except that there was no significant difference in the wet year (2017–2018). In the SSM treatment, soil temperature generally decreased at different growth stages, resulting in a slight decline of 0.9–1.9 ℃ in the 0–25 cm soil layer, whereas in the PFM treatment, soil temperature increased before the jointing stage and decreased subsequently. SSM reduced the daily variable amplitude of soil temperature by decreasing the maximum soil temperature, whereas PFM produced the same effect by decreasing the maximum soil temperature and increasing the minimum soil temperature, which could promote the winter wheat vegetative growth and yield formation in the six experimental years. SSM and PFM decreased accumulated soil temperature from the overwintering stage to maturity stage by 60.1–234.6 ℃ and 30.5–148.5 ℃, respectively. The beneficial effect of the change in soil temperature in SSM and PFM plots expanded the storage capacity of winter wheat. Overall, the moderately cooling effect of mulching was conductive to promoting vegetative growth and expanding storage capacity, ultimately improving crop yield. Our results suggest that SSM can be adopted for sustainable winter wheat production in semiarid rainfed areas under thermal deficient conditions.

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