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The effects of plastic film mulching on maize growth and water use in dry and rainy years in Northeast China.

Xu J, Li C, Liu H, Zhou P, Tao Z, Wang P, Meng Q, Zhao M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Yield increase in the dry years was mainly due to a large increase in dry matter accumulation pre-silking compared to the CK, which resulted from a greater dry matter accumulation rate due to the higher topsoil temperature and water content.In the rainy years, due to frequent precipitation and scant sunshine, the topsoil temperature and water content in the field that received PM treatment was improved only at some stages and failed to cause higher dry matter accumulation, except at the 8th leaf stage.In addition, we found that PM caused leaf senescence at the late growth stage in both dry and rainy years.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China.

ABSTRACT
Plastic film mulching (PM) has been widely used to improve maize (Zea mays L.) yields and water use efficiency (WUE) in Northeast China, but the effects of PM in a changing climate characterized by highly variable precipitation are not well understood. Six site-year field experiments were conducted in the dry and rainy years to investigate the effects of PM on maize growth, grain yield, and WUE in Northeast China. Compared to crops grown without PM treatment (control, CK), PM significantly increased the grain yield by 15-26% in the dry years, but no significant yield increase was observed in the rainy years. Yield increase in the dry years was mainly due to a large increase in dry matter accumulation pre-silking compared to the CK, which resulted from a greater dry matter accumulation rate due to the higher topsoil temperature and water content. As a result, the WUE of the crops that underwent PM (3.27 kg m(-3)) treatment was also increased by around 16% compared to the CK, although the overall evapotranspiration was similar between the two treatments. In the rainy years, due to frequent precipitation and scant sunshine, the topsoil temperature and water content in the field that received PM treatment was improved only at some stages and failed to cause higher dry matter accumulation, except at the 8th leaf stage. Consequently, the grain yield and WUE were not improved by PM in the rainy years. In addition, we found that PM caused leaf senescence at the late growth stage in both dry and rainy years. Therefore, in practice, PM should be applied cautiously, especially when in-season precipitation is taken into account.

No MeSH data available.


Soil temperature at a depth of 0–10 cm in the control (without plastic film mulching [PM] treatment; CK) and PM-treated crops in a dry year (Site 1 in 2010, A) and a rainy year (Site 4 in 2013, B).Vertical bars represent standard deviations of the means. VE, emergence stage; V8, the 8th leaf stage; V12, the 12th leaf stage; R1, silking stage; R3, milking stage; R6, physiological maturity.
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pone.0125781.g004: Soil temperature at a depth of 0–10 cm in the control (without plastic film mulching [PM] treatment; CK) and PM-treated crops in a dry year (Site 1 in 2010, A) and a rainy year (Site 4 in 2013, B).Vertical bars represent standard deviations of the means. VE, emergence stage; V8, the 8th leaf stage; V12, the 12th leaf stage; R1, silking stage; R3, milking stage; R6, physiological maturity.

Mentions: Similar to dry matter accumulation, the effects of PM on the soil temperature varied during different growing stages under different precipitation (Fig 4). Due to the frequent precipitation from sowing to emergence (eight rainy days of a total of twelve days) at Site 1 in the dry year (S1 Fig), the soil temperature at a depth of 0–10 cm at Site 1 (18.4–19.4°C) was lower than that at Site 4 in the rainy year (20.2–23.9°C). Furthermore, PM increased the soil temperature by 3.7°C compared to the CK treatment at Site 4; this increase was significantly higher than the 1.0°C increase at Site 1. From emergence to V8, PM treatment increased the soil temperature by 2.2°C at Site 1 and 1.5°C at Site 4. From V8 to R1, PM elevated the soil temperature by 3.3°C at Site 1, whereas it did not affect the soil temperature significantly at Site 4. This was because precipitation occurred 30 times during the season from V8 to R1 at Site 4, while it only rained 18 times at Site 1. Post-silking, the soil temperature was 17.8°C for the PM-treated crops, which was an average of 1.3°C higher than that for the CK crops (16.5°C) at Site 1. At Site 4, the soil temperature was only 0.4°C higher for the PM-treated crops (16.9°C) compared to the CK crops (16.5°C) because of the frequent precipitation and scant sunshine (S1 Fig).


The effects of plastic film mulching on maize growth and water use in dry and rainy years in Northeast China.

Xu J, Li C, Liu H, Zhou P, Tao Z, Wang P, Meng Q, Zhao M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Soil temperature at a depth of 0–10 cm in the control (without plastic film mulching [PM] treatment; CK) and PM-treated crops in a dry year (Site 1 in 2010, A) and a rainy year (Site 4 in 2013, B).Vertical bars represent standard deviations of the means. VE, emergence stage; V8, the 8th leaf stage; V12, the 12th leaf stage; R1, silking stage; R3, milking stage; R6, physiological maturity.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4430173&req=5

pone.0125781.g004: Soil temperature at a depth of 0–10 cm in the control (without plastic film mulching [PM] treatment; CK) and PM-treated crops in a dry year (Site 1 in 2010, A) and a rainy year (Site 4 in 2013, B).Vertical bars represent standard deviations of the means. VE, emergence stage; V8, the 8th leaf stage; V12, the 12th leaf stage; R1, silking stage; R3, milking stage; R6, physiological maturity.
Mentions: Similar to dry matter accumulation, the effects of PM on the soil temperature varied during different growing stages under different precipitation (Fig 4). Due to the frequent precipitation from sowing to emergence (eight rainy days of a total of twelve days) at Site 1 in the dry year (S1 Fig), the soil temperature at a depth of 0–10 cm at Site 1 (18.4–19.4°C) was lower than that at Site 4 in the rainy year (20.2–23.9°C). Furthermore, PM increased the soil temperature by 3.7°C compared to the CK treatment at Site 4; this increase was significantly higher than the 1.0°C increase at Site 1. From emergence to V8, PM treatment increased the soil temperature by 2.2°C at Site 1 and 1.5°C at Site 4. From V8 to R1, PM elevated the soil temperature by 3.3°C at Site 1, whereas it did not affect the soil temperature significantly at Site 4. This was because precipitation occurred 30 times during the season from V8 to R1 at Site 4, while it only rained 18 times at Site 1. Post-silking, the soil temperature was 17.8°C for the PM-treated crops, which was an average of 1.3°C higher than that for the CK crops (16.5°C) at Site 1. At Site 4, the soil temperature was only 0.4°C higher for the PM-treated crops (16.9°C) compared to the CK crops (16.5°C) because of the frequent precipitation and scant sunshine (S1 Fig).

Bottom Line: Yield increase in the dry years was mainly due to a large increase in dry matter accumulation pre-silking compared to the CK, which resulted from a greater dry matter accumulation rate due to the higher topsoil temperature and water content.In the rainy years, due to frequent precipitation and scant sunshine, the topsoil temperature and water content in the field that received PM treatment was improved only at some stages and failed to cause higher dry matter accumulation, except at the 8th leaf stage.In addition, we found that PM caused leaf senescence at the late growth stage in both dry and rainy years.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China.

ABSTRACT
Plastic film mulching (PM) has been widely used to improve maize (Zea mays L.) yields and water use efficiency (WUE) in Northeast China, but the effects of PM in a changing climate characterized by highly variable precipitation are not well understood. Six site-year field experiments were conducted in the dry and rainy years to investigate the effects of PM on maize growth, grain yield, and WUE in Northeast China. Compared to crops grown without PM treatment (control, CK), PM significantly increased the grain yield by 15-26% in the dry years, but no significant yield increase was observed in the rainy years. Yield increase in the dry years was mainly due to a large increase in dry matter accumulation pre-silking compared to the CK, which resulted from a greater dry matter accumulation rate due to the higher topsoil temperature and water content. As a result, the WUE of the crops that underwent PM (3.27 kg m(-3)) treatment was also increased by around 16% compared to the CK, although the overall evapotranspiration was similar between the two treatments. In the rainy years, due to frequent precipitation and scant sunshine, the topsoil temperature and water content in the field that received PM treatment was improved only at some stages and failed to cause higher dry matter accumulation, except at the 8th leaf stage. Consequently, the grain yield and WUE were not improved by PM in the rainy years. In addition, we found that PM caused leaf senescence at the late growth stage in both dry and rainy years. Therefore, in practice, PM should be applied cautiously, especially when in-season precipitation is taken into account.

No MeSH data available.