The Loess Plateau, the largest arid and semi-arid zone in China, has been confronted with more severe water resource pressure and a growing demand for food production under global changes. For developing sustainable agriculture in this region, it is critical to learn spatiotemporal variations in water use efficiency (WUE) of main crops (e.g. winter wheat in this region) under various water management practices. In this study, we classified irrigated and rainfed wheat areas based on MODIS data, and calculated the winter wheat yield by using an improved light use efficiency model. The actual evapotranspiration (ETa) of winter wheat and the evapotranspiration drought index (EDI) were also investigated. Then we mainly examined the synergistic relationship between crop yield, ETa, and WUE, and analyzed the variations in WUE of irrigated and rainfed wheat under water stress during the 2010-2011 growing season. The results suggested that winter wheat in the Loess Plateau was primarily dominated by fainted wheat. The average yield of irrigated wheat was 3928.4 kg/ha, 22.2% more than that of rainfed wheat. High spatial heterogeneities of harvest index (HI) and maximum light use efficiency (epsilon(max )) were found in the Loess Plateau. The ETa of irrigated wheat was 102% more than that of rainfed wheat. The ratio of irrigated and rainfed wheat under no water stress was 31.55% and 17.16%, respectively. With increasing water stress, the WUE of rainfed wheat decreased more quickly than that of irrigated wheat. The WUE variations in winter wheat under water stress depended strongly on the synergistic effects of two WUE components (crop yield and ETa) and their response to environmental conditions as well as water management practices (irrigated or rainfed). Our findings enhance our current understanding of the variations in WUE as affected by water stress under various water use conditions in arid and semi-arid areas. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and tallgrass prairie are common land cover types in the Southern Plains of the United States. During the last century, agricultural expansion into native grasslands was extensive, particularly managed pasture or winter wheat. In this study, we measured carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O) fluxes from winter wheat and tallgrass prairie sites in Central Oklahoma using the eddy covariance in 2015 and 2016. The objective of this study was to contrast CO2 and H2O fluxes between these two ecosystems to provide insights on the impacts of conversion of tallgrass prairie to winter wheat on carbon and water budgets. Daily net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) reached seasonal peaks of -9.4 and -8.8 g Cm-2 in 2015 and -6.2 and -7.5 g Cm-2 in 2016 at winter wheat and tall grass prairie sites, respectively. Both sites were net sink of carbon during their growing seasons. At the annual scale, the winter wheat site was a net source of carbon (56 +/- 13 and 33 +/- 9 g Cm-2 year(-1) in 2015 and 2016, respectively). In contrast, the tallgrass prairie site was a net sink of carbon (-128 +/- 69 and -119 +/- 53 g Cm-2 year(-1) in 2015 and 2016, respectively). Daily ET reached seasonal maximums of 6.0 and 5.3 mmday(-1) in 2015, and 7.2 and 8.2 mmday(-1) in 2016 at the winter wheat and tallgrass prairie sites, respectively. Although ecosystem water use efficiency (EWUE) was higher in winter wheat than in tallgrass prairie at the seasonal scale, summer fallow contributed higher water loss from the wheat site per unit of carbon fixed, resulting into lower EWUE at the annual scale. Results indicate that the differences in magnitudes and patterns of fluxes between the two ecosystems can influence carbon and water budgets. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
No-tillage management practices reduce net CO2 losses from farmland and keep soil from degrading, but also decrease winter wheat grain yield and water use efficiency (WUE) in the North China Plain (NCP). Suitable management practices, namely, the choice of genotypes, could enhance crop yield and WUE; however, how the WUE and CO2 exchange responds to no-tillage practices and winter wheat genotypes remains unclear. In the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 winter wheat growing seasons in the NCP, a field experiment was carried out, and tested two till-age methods (no-tillage with mulching and conventional tillage) and two winter wheat genotypes ('Tainong 18' and 'Jimai 22'). The goal of the study was to identify the relationship between winter wheat grain yield, water consumption, and carbon emissions in no-tillage practices. The results showed that, compared to conventional tillage, no-tillage significantly reduced the net CO2-C cumulative emissions and water consumption; however, the grain yield was significantly reduced by 6.8% and 12.0% in the first and second growing seasons, respectively. Compared with Jimai 22, Tainong 18 had a compensatory effect on the yield reduction caused by no-tillage. As a result, the yield carbon utilization efficiency (R) and WUE were the highest in no-tillage with Tainong 18 (NT18), and the carbon emission per unit water consumption was the lowest in NT18. The results support the idea that a combination of no-tillage with genotype can improve the regulation of soil carbon emissions and water consumption of winter wheat, thus, providing theoretical support for sustainable crop production and soil development in the NCP. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
A sand-culture experiment was conducted in four Open-Top-Chambers to assess the effects of O_3 on salinitytreated winter wheat. Two winter wheat cultivars, salt-tolerant Dekang961 and salt-sensitive Lumai15, were grown under saline (100 mM NaCl) and/or O_3 (80 ± 5 nmol mol~(?1)) conditions for 35 days. Significant (P < 0.05) O_3-induced decreases were noted for both cultivars in terms of gas exchange, relative water content, growth and biomass yield in the no-salinity treatment. Significant (P < 0.01) corresponding decreasesweremeasured in Dekang961 but not in Lumai15 in the salinity treatment. Soluble sugar and proline contents significantly increased in both cultivars in combined salinity and O_3 exposure. O_3-induced down-regulation in the gradients of A-C_i and A-PPFD response curves were much larger in Dekang961 than in Lumai15 under saline conditions. Significant (P < 0.05) interactions were noted in both salinity × cultivars and salinity × O_3 stresses. The results clearly demonstrated that O_3 injuries were closely correlated with plant stomatal conductance (g_s); the salttolerant wheat cultivar might be damaged more severely than the salt-sensitive cultivar by O_3 due to its higher g_s in saline conditions.
Chelates such as ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) enter soils via various sources but their effect on agricultural crops is mostly unknown. Sources of EDTA include industry, households, sewage water and agricultural practices. In a field experiment EDTA was applied in its free form at different rates (0,150, 550, 1050 kg ha(-1)) to study its translocation in the soil profile and to evaluate its effect on yield and mineral composition of the cultivated crop, both in the year of application (oilseed rape) and in the following year (winter wheat). The results indicate that EDTA was translocated from the soil surface to deeper soil layers in the time-frame of the experiment. EDTA was still detectable in the rooting zone 19 months after application, indicating its persistence in the soil. Only the highest EDTA rate (1050 kg ha(-1)) reduced vegetative growth of oilseed rape until stem elongation, but seed yield was not affected by EDTA application. EDTA application changed the mineral composition of plants. Higher phosphorus (P), sulphur (5), iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) and lower cadmium (Cd) concentrations were determined in the seeds of oilseed rape. No yield effects of residual EDTA were observed for the following crop, winter wheat, but the Cd content in seeds was still lower in plots where EDTA had been applied in the previous year. Data show that EDTA application affects the mineral uptake of cultivated crops under field conditions. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
The impacts of different crop rotation systems with their corresponding management practices on grain yield, greenhouse gas emissions, and fertilizer nitrogen (N) and irrigation water use efficiencies are not well documented. This holds especially for the North China Plain which provides the staple food for hundreds of millions of people and where groundwater resources are polluted with nitrate and depleted through irrigation. Here, we report on fertilizer N and irrigation water use, grain yields, and nitrous oxide (N_2O) and methane (CH_4) emissions of conventional and optimized winter wheat–summer maize doublecropping systems, and of three alternative cropping systems, namely a winter wheat–summer maize (or soybean)–spring maize system, with three harvests in two years; and a single spring maize system with one crop per year. The results of this two-year study show that the optimized double-cropping system led to a significant increase in grain yields and a significant decrease in fertilizer N use and net greenhouse gas intensity, but the net greenhouse gas N2O emissions plus CH4 uptake and the use of irrigation water did not decrease relative to the conventional system. Compared to the conventional system the net greenhouse gas emissions, net greenhouse gas intensity and use of fertilizer N and irrigation water decreased in the three alternative cropping systems, but at the cost of grain yields except in the winter wheat–summer maize–spring maize system. Net uptake of CH_4 by the soil was little affected by cropping system. Average N_2O emission factors were only 0.17% for winter wheat and 0.53% for maize. In conclusion, the winter wheat–summer maize–spring maize system has considerable potential to decrease water and N use and decrease N_2O emissions while maintaining high grain yields and sustainable use of groundwater.
The European Union aims to reach a 10% share of biofuels in the transport sector by 2020. The major burden is most likely to fall on already established annual energy crops such as rapeseed and cereals for the production of biodiesel and bioethanol, respectively. Annual energy crops are typically cultivated in intensive agricultural production systems, which require the application of pesticides. Agricultural pesticides can have adverse effects on aquatic invertebrates in adjacent streams. We assessed the relative ecological risk to aquatic invertebrates associated with the chemical pest management from six energy crops (maize, potato, sugar beet, winter barley, winter rapeseed, and winter wheat) as well as from mixed cultivation scenarios.
Water use efficiency (WUE) and nitrogen fertilizer use efficiency (NUE) of winter wheat are urgently needed to further improve in the North China Plain (NCP). In this study, a 3-year field experiment was conducted during the 2014-2017 growing seasons to clarify the effect of traditional flood irrigation (TI), surface drip irrigation (DI), and micro-sprinkling irrigation (MSI) on grain yield, WUE, and NUE of winter wheat. Across the 3 years, grain yield of DI and MSI improved by 9.79% and 14.1%, WUE of DI and MSI increased by 12.3% and 17.7%, and NUE of DI and MSI increased by 9.77% and 14.0%, respectively compared with those of TI. Wheat subjected to the micro-irrigation treatments (DI and MSI) had higher chlorophyll content in flag leaves 10 days post-anthesis; this postponed senescence of the flag leaves, which increased dry matter accumulation post-anthesis, and increased 1000-grain weight and grain yield. The micro-irrigation treatments reduced pre-anthesis water consumption but increased post-anthesis water consumption and ensured the water supply in the top soil layer at the critical stage, thus increasing WUE. Root length density (RLD) of TI in the 0-80-cm soil layer was significantly higher than that of micro-irrigation, whereas micro-irrigation had higher RLD than TI below the 80-cm soil layer, which promoted the absorption and utilization of water and nitrogen in deep soil. The micro-irrigation treatments increased total nitrogen accumulation of the plants, reduced soil nitrate nitrogen (NO3--N) content at maturity, ensured the nitrogen supply in the top soil layer, thus increasing NUE. Overall, micro-irrigation with water and fertilizer as an integrated pattern significantly improved grain yield, WUE, and NUE of winter wheat in the NCP by co-locating the root, water, and N-fertilizer distribution and reducing NO3--N accumulation in deep soil. The best treatment was micro-sprinkling irrigation. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.