Crop consumptive water use is recognized as a key element to understand regional water management performance. This study documents an attempt to apply a regional evapotranspiration model（SEBAL） and crop information for assessment of regional crop（summer maize and winter wheat） actual evapotranspiration（ET a） in Huang-Huai-Hai（3H） Plain, China. The average seasonal ET a of summer maize and winter wheat were 354.8 and 521.5 mm respectively in 3H Plain. A high-ET a belt of summer maize occurs in piedmont plain, while a low ET a area was found in the hill-irrigable land and dry land area. For winter wheat, a high-ET a area was located in the middle part of 3H Plain, including low plain-hydropenia irrigable land and dry land, hill-irrigable land and dry land, and basin-irrigable land and dry land. Spatial analysis demonstrated a linear relationship between crop ET a, normalized difference vegetation index（NDVI）, and the land surface temperature（LST）. A stronger relationship between ET a and NDVI was found in the metaphase and last phase than other crop growing phase, as indicated by higher correlation coefficient values. Additionally, higher correlation coefficients were detected between ET a and LST than that between ET a and NDVI, and this significant relationship ran through the entire crop growing season. ET a in the summer maize growing season showed a significant relationship with longitude, while ET a in the winter wheat growing season showed a significant relationship with latitude. The results of this study will serve as baseline information for water resources management of 3H Plain.
This experiment aims to test the traits responsible for the increase in yield potential of winter wheat released in Henan Province, China. Seven established cultivars released in the last 20 years and three advanced lines were assayed. The results showed that grain yield was positively correlated with harvest index（HI）, kernel number per square meter, and aboveground biomass. In addition, the HI and aboveground biomass showed an increasing trend with the year of release.Therefore, we can conclude that bread wheat breeding advances during recent decades in Henan Province, China,have been achieved through an increase in HI, kernel number per square meter, and aboveground biomass. A higher d13C seems also to be involved in these advances, which suggests a progressive improvement in constitutive water use efficiency not associated with a trend towards lower stomatal conductance in the most recent genotypes. However, genetic advance Researchdoes not appear related to changes in photosynthesis rates on area basis when measured in the flag leaf or the spike,but only to a higher, whole‐spike photosynthesis. Results also indirectly support the concept that under potential yield conditions, the spike contributed more than the flag leaf to kernel formation.
Crop root system plays an important role in the water cycle of the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. In this study, com- bined isotope techniques, root length density and root cell activity analysis were used to investigate the root water uptake mechanisms of winter wheat （Triticum aesfivum L.） under different irrigation depths in the North China Plain. Both direct inference approach and multisource linear mixing model were applied to estimate the distribution of water uptake with depth in six growing stages. Results showed that winter wheat under land surface irrigation treatment （Ts） mainly absorbed water from 10-20 cm soil layers in the wintering and green stages （66.9 and 72.0%, respectively）; 0-20 cm （57.0%） in the jointing stage; 0-40 （15.3%） and 80-180 cm （58.1%） in the heading stage; 60-80 （13.2%） and 180-220 cm （35.5%） in the filling stage; and 0-40 （46.8%） and 80-100 cm （31.0%） in the ripening stage. Winter wheat under whole soil layers irrigation treatment （Tw） absorbed more water from deep soil layer than Ts in heading, filling and ripening stages. Moreover, root cell activity and root length density of winter wheat under TW were significantly greater than that of Ts in the three stages. We concluded that distribution of water uptake with depth was affected by the availability of water sources, the root length density and root cell activity. Implementation of the whole soil layers irrigation method can affect root system distribution and thereby increase water use from deeper soil and enhance water use efficiency.
By employing the unique phenological feature of winter wheat extracted from peak before winter （PBW） and the advantages of moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer （MODIS） data with high temporal resolution and intermediate spatial resolution, a remote sensing-based model for mapping winter wheat on the North China Plain was built through integration with Landsat images and land-use data. First, a phenological window, PBW was drawn from time-series MODIS data. Next, feature extraction was performed for the PBW to reduce feature dimension and enhance its information. Finally, a regression model was built to model the relationship of the phenological feature and the sample data. The amount of information of the PBW was evaluated and compared with that of the main peak （MP）. The relative precision of the mapping reached up to 92% in comparison to the Landsat sample data, and ranged between 87 and 96% in comparison to the statistical data. These results were sufficient to satisfy the accuracy requirements for winter wheat mapping at a large scale. Moreover, the proposed method has the ability to obtain the distribution information for winter wheat in an earlier period than previous studies. This study could throw light on the monitoring of winter wheat in China by using unique phenological feature of winter wheat.
In the dominant winter wheat （WW）-summer maize （SM） double cropping system in the low plain located in the North China, limited access to fresh water, especially during dry season, constitutes a major obstacle to realize high crop productivity. Using the vast water resources of the saline upper aquifer for irrigation during WW jointing stage, may help to bridge the peak of dry season and relieve the tight water situation in the region. A field experiment was conducted during 2009-2012 to investigate the effects of saline irrigation during WW jointing stage on soil salt accumulation and productivity of WW and SM. The experiment treatments comprised no irrigation （T1）, fresh water irrigation （T2）, slightly saline water irrigation （T3：2.8 dS m-l）, and strongly saline water irrigation （T4：8.2 dS m-1） at WW jointing stage. With regard to WW yields and aggregated annual WW-SM yields, clear benefits of saline water irrigation （T3 ＆ T4） compared to no irrigation （T1）, as well as insignificant yield losses compared to fresh water irrigation （T2） occurred in all three experiment years. However, the increased soil salinity in eady SM season in consequence of saline irrigation exerted a negative effect on SM photosynthesis and final yield in two of three experiment years. To avoid the negative aftereffects of saline irrigation, sufficient fresh water irrigation during SM sowing phase （i.e., increase from 60 to 90 mm） is recommended to guarantee good growth conditions during the sensitive early growing period of SM. The risk of long-term accumulation of salts as a result of saline irrigation during the peak of dry season is considered low, due to deep leaching of salts during regularly occurring wet years, as demonstrated in the 2012 experiment year. Thus, applying saline water irrigation at jointing stage of WW and fresh water at sowing of SM is most promising to realize high yield and fresh irrigation water saving.
The application of fertilizer in agricultural production has become universally common for achieving high crop yields and economic benefits, but it has potential impacts on food safety, energy crisis and environmental pollution. Optimal management of fertilization is thus necessary for maintaining sustainable agriculture. Two-year（2013–2015） field experiment was conducted, in Yangling（108°24′E, 34°20′N, and 521 m a.s.l.）, Shaanxi Province, China, to explore the effects of different nitrogen（N） applications on biomass accumulation, crop N uptake, nitrate N（NO_3~–-N） distribution, yield, and N use with a winter wheat/summer maize rotation system. The N applications consisted of conventional urea（U）（at 80（U80）, 160（U160）, and 240（U240） kg N ha~（–1）; 40% applied as a basal fertilizer and 60% top-dressed at jointing stage） and controlled-release urea（CRU）（at 60（C60）, 120（C120）, 180（C180）, and 240（C240） kg N ha~（~（–1））; all applied as a basal fertilizer） with no N application as a control（CK）. The continuous release of N from CRU matched well with the N demands of crop throughout entire growing stages. Soil NO_3~–-N content varied less and peaked shallower in CRU than that in urea treatments. The differences, however, were smaller in winter wheat than that in summer maize seasons. The average yield of summer maize was the highest in C120 in CRU treatments and in U160 in urea treatments, and apparent N use efficiency（NUE） and N agronomic efficiency（NAE） were higher in C120 than in U160 by averages of 22.67 and 41.91%, respectively. The average yield of winter wheat was the highest in C180 in CRU treatments and in U240 in urea treatments with C180 increasing NUE and NAE by averages of 14.89 and 35.62% over U240, respectively. The annual yields under the two N fertilizers were the highest in C120 and U160. The results suggested that CRU as a basal fertilizer once could be a promising alternative of urea as split application in semiarid areas.
Using simultaneously collected remote sensing data and field measurements, this study firstly assessed the consistency and applicability of China high-resolution earth observation system satellite 1 （GF-1） wide field of view （WFV） camera, environment and disaster monitoring and forecasting satellite （H J-l） charge coupled device （CCD）, and Landsat-8 opera- tional land imager （OLI） data for estimating the leaf area index （LAI） of winter wheat via reflectance and vegetation indices （VIs）. The accuracies of these LAI estimates were then assessed through comparison with an empirical model and the PROSAIL radiative transfer model. The effects of radiation calibration, spectral response functions, and spatial resolution on discrepancies in the LAI estimates between the different sensors were also analyzed. The results yielded the following observations： （1） The correlation between reflectance from different sensors is relative good, with the adjusted coefficients of determination （R2） between 0.375 to 0.818. The differences in reflectance are ranging from 0.002 to 0.054. The correlation between VIs from different sensors is high with the R2 between 0.729 and 0.933. The differences in the VIs are ranging from 0.07 to 0.156. These results show the three sensors＇ images can all be used for cross calibration of the reflectance and VIs. （2） The four VIs from the three sensors are all demonstrated to be highly correlated with LAI （R2 between 0.703 and 0.849）. The linear models associated with the 2-band enhanced vegetation index （EVI2）, which feature the highest R2 （higher than 0.746） and the lowest root mean square errors （RMSE） （less than 0.21）, were selected to estimate the winter wheat LAI. The accuracy of the estimated LAI from Landsat-8 was the highest, with the relative errors （RE） of 2.18% and an RMSE of 0.13, while the H J-1 was the lowest, with the RE of 2.43% and the RMSE of 0.15. （3） The inversion errors in the different sensors＇ LAI estimates using the PROSAIL model are small. The accuracy of the GF-1 is the highest with the RE of 3.44%, and the RMSE of 0.22, whereas that of the H J-1 is the lowest with the RE of 4.95%, and the RMSE of 0.26. （4） The effects of the spectral response function and radiation calibration for the different sensors are small and can be ignored, but the effects of spatial resolution are significant and must be taken into consideration in practical applications.
The management of fertilizer application is crucial for agricultural production and environmental safety. The objective of this study was to assess the efficiency of different fertilization strategies, applying fertilizers with and without nitrification inhibitors （NIs） in split application, in Greece. The assessment criteria used were based on crop yield, soil nitrogen （N） concentrations and economic efficiency. For this purpose two crops （winter wheat and cotton） were selected in order to explore the optimum fertilization strategy for each crop. Three treatments combining fertilizers with NIs were tested compared with conventional fertilization （CF）. Slight differences in the quantity and the combination of fertilizers with NIs applied resulted in variable effects on crop yield, soil N and economic return. Split N application of 102 kg ha^（-1）, with half of the total amount applied at seeding, resulted in higher grain yield of winter wheat, lower NO3-N in soil and higher economic return. This result reveals the importance of N application at seeding in wheat crop. Fertilization strategy with 109.5 kg N ha^（-1） and split P application resulted in higher cotton yield and higher economic profit. Split P application seemed to increase yield, even though it is not a common practise in the area.
In order to clarify the impact posed by wheat powdery mildew （Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici） on the yield and yield components in different epidemic seasons, field trials were conducted in three growing seasons, 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, in Langfang City, Hebei Province, China. The relationships between 1000-kernel weight, crude protein content of grain and yield and disease index （DI）, as well as area under disease progress curve （AUDPC） were studied. The models of the percentage of loss of 1000-kernel weight, crude protein content and yield were constructed using DI at critical point （CP） of growth stages （GS） and AUDPC in the three growing seasons, respectively. The CPs for estimating 1 000-kernel weight, crude protein content of grain and yield of wheat caused by powdery mildew were GS 11.1, GS 10.5.3 and GS l 0.5.3, respectively. Models based on DI at CP to estimate the percentage of loss of 1000-kernel weight, crude protein content of grain and yield were better than models based on AUDPC. And models of the percentage of loss of 1000-kernel weight, crude protein content and yield for 2011-2012 season were significant different from these for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons. These results indicated that besides powdery mildew, weather conditions also had influence on 1 000-kernel weight, crude protein content of grain and yield loss of wheat when powdery mildew occurred.
Although plastic-covered ridge and furrow planting（RF） has been reported to produce substantial increases in the grain weight of winter wheat,the underlying mechanism is not yet understood.The present study used two cultivars,Xinong 538 and Zhoumai 18,and RF and traditional flatten planting（TF,control） with the objective of investigating the effect of RF on wheat grain filling and the possible relationship of hormonal changes in the wheat grains under RF to grain filling.The results indicated that RF significantly increased the grain weight,although the effects on grain filling were different： RF significantly increased the grain-filling rate and grain weight of inferior grains,whereas RF had no significant effect on grainfilling rate and grain weight of superior grains.The final grain weight of inferior grains under RF was 39.1 and 50.7 mg for Xinong 538 and Zhoumai 18,respectively,3.6 and 3.4 mg higher than the values under TF.However,the final grain weight of superior grains under RF was only 0.6 and 0.8 mg higher than under TF for Xinong 538 and Zhoumai 18,respectively.RF significantly decreased the ethylene and gibberellic acid content in the inferior grains and increased the indole-3-acetic acid,abscisic acid and zeatin ＋ zeatin riboside content in the inferior grains;however,no significant difference between RF and TF was observed for the hormonal content in the superior grains.Based on these results,we concluded that RF significantly modulated hormonal changes in the inferior grains and,thus,affected the grain filling and grain weight of the inferior grains;in contrast,RF had no significant effect on grain filling,grain weight and hormonal changes in the superior wheat grains.