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Soil Tillage Management Affects Maize Grain Yield by Regulating Spatial Distribution Coordination of Roots, Soil Moisture and Nitrogen Status.

Wang X, Zhou B, Sun X, Yue Y, Ma W, Zhao M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Root length density of the SS treatment was significantly greater than density of the RT and NT treatments, as soil depth increased.SS had greater soil moisture depletion and a more concentration root system than RT and NT in deep soil.It resulted in significantly greater post-silking biomass and grain yield compared to the RT and NT treatments, for summer maize on the Huang-Huai-Hai plain.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

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

ABSTRACT
The spatial distribution of the root system through the soil profile has an impact on moisture and nutrient uptake by plants, affecting growth and productivity. The spatial distribution of the roots, soil moisture, and fertility are affected by tillage practices. The combination of high soil density and the presence of a soil plow pan typically impede the growth of maize (Zea mays L.).We investigated the spatial distribution coordination of the root system, soil moisture, and N status in response to different soil tillage treatments (NT: no-tillage, RT: rotary-tillage, SS: subsoiling) and the subsequent impact on maize yield, and identify yield-increasing mechanisms and optimal soil tillage management practices. Field experiments were conducted on the Huang-Huai-Hai plain in China during 2011 and 2012. The SS and RT treatments significantly reduced soil bulk density in the top 0-20 cm layer of the soil profile, while SS significantly decreased soil bulk density in the 20-30 cm layer. Soil moisture in the 20-50 cm profile layer was significantly higher for the SS treatment compared to the RT and NT treatment. In the 0-20 cm topsoil layer, the NT treatment had higher soil moisture than the SS and RT treatments. Root length density of the SS treatment was significantly greater than density of the RT and NT treatments, as soil depth increased. Soil moisture was reduced in the soil profile where root concentration was high. SS had greater soil moisture depletion and a more concentration root system than RT and NT in deep soil. Our results suggest that the SS treatment improved the spatial distribution of root density, soil moisture and N states, thereby promoting the absorption of soil moisture and reducing N leaching via the root system in the 20-50 cm layer of the profile. Within the context of the SS treatment, a root architecture densely distributed deep into the soil profile, played a pivotal role in plants' ability to access nutrients and water. An optimal combination of deeper deployment of roots and resource (water and N) availability was realized where the soil was prone to leaching. The correlation between the depletion of resources and distribution of patchy roots endorsed the SS tillage practice. It resulted in significantly greater post-silking biomass and grain yield compared to the RT and NT treatments, for summer maize on the Huang-Huai-Hai plain.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Spatial distribution of maize root in 0–50 cm depths at VT under three tillage managements in 2012.Numbers above each figure represent as the mean root length density in each soil depth. Solid arrows above each figure represent the position of maize growth centre.
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pone.0129231.g008: Spatial distribution of maize root in 0–50 cm depths at VT under three tillage managements in 2012.Numbers above each figure represent as the mean root length density in each soil depth. Solid arrows above each figure represent the position of maize growth centre.

Mentions: The different tillage management practices had a marked influence on root length density in the 0–50 cm soil profile layer at the VT growth stage (Fig 8 and Table E in S1 File). The average root length density of SS and RT was 12.41% and 21.86% greater than that of the NT treatment, respectively. For the SS treatment, root length density was 18.57%, 26.58%, and 75.06% greater than that of RT for 20–50 cm soil layer, respectively, and 18.57%, 43.86%, and 53.12% greater than that of NT for 20–50 cm soil layer, respectively. The root length density in the 0–20 cm soil profile was 26.55% and 21.37% greater, and 28.90% and 56.48% greater, in RT than in SS and NT, respectively. In addition, NT management had the lowest root length density among the three treatments in the 10–50 cm layer. As shown in Fig 8, the distribution of root length in the 0–20 cm layer had a unimodal trend, with high root length density in the center of the plot and reduced density around the plot. In the 20–50 cm layer, the distribution of root length was multi-modal.


Soil Tillage Management Affects Maize Grain Yield by Regulating Spatial Distribution Coordination of Roots, Soil Moisture and Nitrogen Status.

Wang X, Zhou B, Sun X, Yue Y, Ma W, Zhao M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Spatial distribution of maize root in 0–50 cm depths at VT under three tillage managements in 2012.Numbers above each figure represent as the mean root length density in each soil depth. Solid arrows above each figure represent the position of maize growth centre.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4476672&req=5

pone.0129231.g008: Spatial distribution of maize root in 0–50 cm depths at VT under three tillage managements in 2012.Numbers above each figure represent as the mean root length density in each soil depth. Solid arrows above each figure represent the position of maize growth centre.
Mentions: The different tillage management practices had a marked influence on root length density in the 0–50 cm soil profile layer at the VT growth stage (Fig 8 and Table E in S1 File). The average root length density of SS and RT was 12.41% and 21.86% greater than that of the NT treatment, respectively. For the SS treatment, root length density was 18.57%, 26.58%, and 75.06% greater than that of RT for 20–50 cm soil layer, respectively, and 18.57%, 43.86%, and 53.12% greater than that of NT for 20–50 cm soil layer, respectively. The root length density in the 0–20 cm soil profile was 26.55% and 21.37% greater, and 28.90% and 56.48% greater, in RT than in SS and NT, respectively. In addition, NT management had the lowest root length density among the three treatments in the 10–50 cm layer. As shown in Fig 8, the distribution of root length in the 0–20 cm layer had a unimodal trend, with high root length density in the center of the plot and reduced density around the plot. In the 20–50 cm layer, the distribution of root length was multi-modal.

Bottom Line: Root length density of the SS treatment was significantly greater than density of the RT and NT treatments, as soil depth increased.SS had greater soil moisture depletion and a more concentration root system than RT and NT in deep soil.It resulted in significantly greater post-silking biomass and grain yield compared to the RT and NT treatments, for summer maize on the Huang-Huai-Hai plain.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

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

ABSTRACT
The spatial distribution of the root system through the soil profile has an impact on moisture and nutrient uptake by plants, affecting growth and productivity. The spatial distribution of the roots, soil moisture, and fertility are affected by tillage practices. The combination of high soil density and the presence of a soil plow pan typically impede the growth of maize (Zea mays L.).We investigated the spatial distribution coordination of the root system, soil moisture, and N status in response to different soil tillage treatments (NT: no-tillage, RT: rotary-tillage, SS: subsoiling) and the subsequent impact on maize yield, and identify yield-increasing mechanisms and optimal soil tillage management practices. Field experiments were conducted on the Huang-Huai-Hai plain in China during 2011 and 2012. The SS and RT treatments significantly reduced soil bulk density in the top 0-20 cm layer of the soil profile, while SS significantly decreased soil bulk density in the 20-30 cm layer. Soil moisture in the 20-50 cm profile layer was significantly higher for the SS treatment compared to the RT and NT treatment. In the 0-20 cm topsoil layer, the NT treatment had higher soil moisture than the SS and RT treatments. Root length density of the SS treatment was significantly greater than density of the RT and NT treatments, as soil depth increased. Soil moisture was reduced in the soil profile where root concentration was high. SS had greater soil moisture depletion and a more concentration root system than RT and NT in deep soil. Our results suggest that the SS treatment improved the spatial distribution of root density, soil moisture and N states, thereby promoting the absorption of soil moisture and reducing N leaching via the root system in the 20-50 cm layer of the profile. Within the context of the SS treatment, a root architecture densely distributed deep into the soil profile, played a pivotal role in plants' ability to access nutrients and water. An optimal combination of deeper deployment of roots and resource (water and N) availability was realized where the soil was prone to leaching. The correlation between the depletion of resources and distribution of patchy roots endorsed the SS tillage practice. It resulted in significantly greater post-silking biomass and grain yield compared to the RT and NT treatments, for summer maize on the Huang-Huai-Hai plain.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus