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Plastic film mulch for half growing-season maximized WUE and yield of potato via moisture-temperature improvement in a semi-arid agroecosystem

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Author Info

  • Zhao, Hong
  • Xiong, You-Cai
  • Li, Feng-Min
  • Wang, Run-Yuan
  • Qiang, Sheng-Cai
  • Yao, Tao-Feng
  • Mo, Fei
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    Abstract

    Effects of plastic mulching in ridges and furrows for varying durations on yield and water use efficiency (WUE) in potato were investigated in rainfed areas of north-western China in 2009 and 2010. The experiment comprised four mulched treatments (M50, M65, M80/85, and Mw – indicating plastic film mulch for 50, 65, and 80/85 d after sowing, and whole growth season, respectively – after which mulch in furrows was removed) and a non-mulched control. The results showed that film mulching warmed topsoil and increased topsoil water content. The daily mean topsoil temperature in mulched plots was 2.5–3.2°C higher than that in controls during the early growing season (sowing–emergence), the difference became less as the plant canopy grew; on some days later in the season, the difference was even negative (i.e. the topsoil temperature in mulched was lower than in control plots). Seedlings under mulching emerged 8.1–11.7 d earlier than those in controls due to the increased topsoil temperature and moisture in the early season. Mulching also prolonged the duration from seedling to maturity by 0.7–15.0 d and significantly increased plant height, leaf area index, and dry matter. Compared to non-mulched plots, yields in mulched plots increased by 33.9–92.5% and 62.9–77.8% in 2009 and 2010, respectively, and corresponding WUEs improved by 41.4–112.6% and 45.9–70.6%. Both tuber yield and WUE were highest in M65. The data indicate that mulching for about 65 d after sowing was ideal to optimize soil moisture and soil temperature and in turn to improve potato productivity and WUE in this semi-arid rainfed region.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Water Management.

    Volume (Year): 104 (2012)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 68-78

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:agiwat:v:104:y:2012:i:c:p:68-78

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/agwat

    Related research

    Keywords: Mulching; Soil temperature; Soil moisture; Water use efficiency; Yield; Potato;

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    Cited by:
    1. Yuan, M. & Zhang, L. & Gou, F. & Su, Z. & Spiertz, J.H.J. & van der Werf, W., 2013. "Assessment of crop growth and water productivity for five C3 species in semi-arid Inner Mongolia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 28-38.
    2. Qin, Shuhao & Zhang, Junlian & Dai, Hailin & Wang, Di & Li, Deming, 2014. "Effect of ridge–furrow and plastic-mulching planting patterns on yield formation and water movement of potato in a semi-arid area," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 87-94.

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